The Ellis County Expo Center was filled with a variety of activity as youth show students, parents and volunteers began working Sunday to prepare for the 27th annual Ellis County Youth Exp opening ceremonies Monday.
The goats, sheep and swine were the first to arrive with their weigh-in beginning Sunday afternoon.
Youth exhibitors will be representing several Future Farmers of America (FFA), 4-H and FCCLA clubs for all across the county during the five-day event. These youth have been working with the parents and sponsors for more than a year to prepare their animal projects for the competition.
While the weigh-in was in progress, the remainder of the swine, steer and heifer participants were busy laying down saw dust, setting up equipment boxes and putting up stalls and getting pens ready for their animals.
There were many first-timers and many more show veterans. An then there were some who have graduated and came back to mentor a sister, brother or cousin with valued show experience.
Bailey Eubanks was one of the show veterans who came back to help cousin Ella Hudson from the Ellis County 4-H. Eubanks, a freshmen at Blinn College, will be traveling for the Bryan Campus.
“Ella stood by the arena and watched me show,” Eubanks said. “Now it’s my turn to help her. For sure, I’ll be here when she shows and will be here for the steer show Friday.”
Eubanks showed the 2015 Grand Champion steer.
This year is already looking to be a big success, said Megan Parr, the Youth Development and 4-H Coordinator and County Extension Agent.
Giving a show breakdown, there will be 250 swine, 140 goats, 90 lambs, 40 heifers, 50 steers, 50 breeding rabbits, 50 market rabbits and 13 broilers.
The youth expo kicked off with the opening ceremonies at 4 p.m. Monday. Following the opening ceremonies, the show competition was expected to start with the broiler and breeding rabbit shows.
The next event will be the Market Rabbit show at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Admission to the exposition is free.