Goats and lambs were the highlight of Wednesday’s competition at the Ellis County Youth Expo show. Beginning at two in the afternoon, show judges viewed 166 goats and 95 lambs in the arena.
The lambs were divided into south down, fine wool, fine wool cross and medium wool classes, with the top placers in each moving onto overall grand and reserve champion. Working through the class competition, Erin Mitchell’s medium wool champion first won the grand champion in her class before taking the overall grand champion. Also showing a medium wool, Jaclynn Lewis took the overall reserve award.
Mitchell, a junior at Midlothian High School, has shown animals for four years. Besides lambs, she also shows steers and goats.
She serves as the Midlothian FFA chapter president and is an FFA area officer.
“It’s really cool being first. It’s a great experience,” Mitchell said about having the top lamb at the expo, which wraps up competition Friday. She cited her FFA advisor, Greg Pruitt, and his son, J.D Pruitt, for guiding her with her projects. “Most of all I want to thank my mom and dad for being my greatest fan and cheerleader,” she said.
Lewis, who is with Italy FFA, has followed in her sister’s footsteps and has shown since she was in the third grade.
Judging for his first year at the Ellis County show was Derrick Chabot of Dublin, Texas. Chabot works for Farm Bureau at Hamilton, Texas, and is active in show lambs and selling club lambs. His show credits include grand champion at the Houston Stock Show and reserve champion at the Austin Stock Show.
The goats wrapped up the evening, showing in 18 classes (light, medium and heavy weights), with the grand and reserve champions determined from the top place winners.
This year’s grand champion was J.D. Pruitt with his heavy weight entry. Taking reserve honors was Ryan Rankin, who showed a medium weight goat. Both Pruitt and Rankin are from Midlothian FFA.
This isn’t the first time for Pruitt to receive a grand champion award. Two years ago he won the top prize with a market lamb.
“My dad has a rule. If I win with a species, I have to show another species next time,” said Pruitt, who shows a steer in tonight’s competition.