Members of various Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H clubs opened the 27th annual Ellis County Youth Expo on Monday night.

The five-day event, located at the Ellis County Expo Center located off of the U.S. Highway 287 Bypass between Waxahachie and Midlothian, runs through Saturday. Youth exhibitors will be representing several FFA, 4-H and FCCLA clubs for all across the county. These youth have been working with the parents and sponsors for more than a year to prepare their animal projects for the competition.

Each of the county’s clubs were represented during the opening flag ceremonies.

Following the introduction of the American Texas State, FFA and 4-H flags, Morgan Key led the audience in the pledge.

Key then introduced the special dignitaries. Representing Ellis County were county commissioners Kyle Butler and Lane Grayson.

“I can think of no greater program than what we have here today,” Grayson said. “These kids, their parents and sponsors have put a lot of effort onto to what you see here tonight. Having been here myself with my kids, I know what goes into preparing these animals for show. I just want to thank each and every student, parent, mentor and all those who have helped these kids get here.”

Following the closing of Monday’s ceremonies, the show went right into competition, with the broiler show. This year’s broiler show exhibited 17 pens of three broilers per pen.

Following the conclusion of the broiler show, the breeder rabbits were expected enter the ring.

On Tuesday, the Market Lamb show begins at 1 p.m. and will be followed by the Market Rabbit show at 2 p.m.. The Market Goat show at will begin at 5 p.m.

Wednesday will begin at 8 a.m. with the evaluation of the Ag Mechanics projects followed by the creative arts show at 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday’s livestock exhibition will start with the Swine Show that begins at 2 p.m.

While the Expo Center will be open Thursday, there will be no shows because many of the 4-H and FFA members will be at a competition in Stephenville at Tarleton State University.

The competition starts up again Friday with the Breeding Heifer Show at 3 p.m. and the Market Steer Show at 5 p.m.

Besides livestock projects, other youth will be competing in creative arts divisions of photography, cooking, sewing and furniture making. There is also an Ag Mechanics competition where students will be bringing in projects they have designed and built from raw materials.

In all of the livestock as well as the creative arts classes, Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion awards will be announced.

An addition to this year’s show is a chance for children with special needs to exhibit their projects along with the personal skills they’ve developed.

This special event is named “A Day in the Ring.” This show will showcase the talents of special needs youth from across the county, as they pair up with their 4-H/FFA show buddy and show their animal.

The week’s activities will conclude Saturday morning with a catered BBQ lunch follow by the live auction of the winning livestock projects.

Admission is free to the public. A refreshment stand will be open.

Look for results from the Youth Expo competitions in upcoming editions of the Waxahachie Daily Light or visit www.waxahachietx.com.