Sampson Independent

Extension hosts Prestage youth round-up event

Inside the George P. Upton Jr. Livestock Arena, more than 40 young people enjoyed showing some of the best lambs and heifers around the region.

Sampson County Cooperative Extension recently hosted the annual Prestage Farms Youth Livestock Round-Up. During the event, participants between the ages of 5 to 19, presented showmanship skills to judges. The recent contest at the livestock facility was part of the Eastern Carolina Showmanship Circuit, which will continue through the North Carolina State Fair.

Paul Gonzalez, livestock extension agent, reported that 47 children participated. Close to 60 lambs were presented by 28 participants and 27 showed 31 heifers. People from Sampson County and about six other counties participate each year. Awards were presented in many categories.

The Champion and Reserve Champion Lamb were shown by Hunter McMillen. Schyler Crocker presented the Champion Heifer and the Reserve Champion belonged to Wyatt Kendall.

Showmanship Champions were Camryn Lawrence, Senior Lamb; Anna Brooke Taylor, Junior Lamb; MacKenzie Cox, Novice Lamb; Kendall, Senior Heifer; Schyler Crocker, Intermediate Heifer; Lydia Crocker, Junior Heifer; and Kate Hinnant, Novice Heifer.

Eileen Coite, extension director for Sampson County, showed appreciation for Prestage Farms for providing support each year.

“We could not do it without them,” Coite said.

The annual event is associated with 4-H and is one of many livestock circuits associated with the organization, which is the largest youth development program in the state. More than 10,000 programs are established for youths.

Sampson County Cooperative Extension is also preparing for the Carolina Swine Show Circuit, which is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29 at the livestock facility. For more information about the event, contact Livestock Agent Max Knowles by email at 910-592-7161 or by email at

The deadline is Saturday, Sept. 15, and entry forms may be accessed online at

State, Wayne County fairs

Sampson County Extension officials are also encouraging youths to submit entries in the upcoming 2018 North Carolina State Fair, scheduled for Oct. 11 through Oct. 21 in Raleigh. The deadline to register and submit entries is Sept. 15. Additional information regarding the state fair is available online at

Prior to the state fair, early bird registration is available for the 2018 Wayne Regional Agriculture Fair, which will be held from Sept. 27 through Oct. 6, in Goldsboro.

Participants are not required to live in Wayne County and be a member of the county’s 4-H to have an exhibit. Some of the categories include crafts, arts, photography, food conservation and food conservation. Registration is available online at All entries must be turned in by noon, Wednesday, Sept. 26, so Sampson County officials can take them to the fair, if requested.

For more information or assistance with participation, contact Genny Thompson, 4-H agent; or Elizabeth Merrill, 4-H program assistant, at 910-592-7161.

Lambs are shown by regional youths in the area during the Prestage Farms Youth Livestock Round-Up. are shown by regional youths in the area during the Prestage Farms Youth Livestock Round-Up.
Youths show their ribbons and awards during the Prestage Farms Youth Livestock Round-Up. show their ribbons and awards during the Prestage Farms Youth Livestock Round-Up.
Awards given out for showmanship

By Chase Jordan

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.