The 56th Sequoyah County Junior Livestock Show is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 24, through Friday, Feb. 26, at the County Fairgrounds in Sallisaw.
The show, which is sponsored by the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce, will have a different look this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marty Green, the chamber’s executive director, said in a recent interview.
The most obvious change, Green said, is that there will be no Bidders Barbecue this year. “We’re going to miss that,” he said, “but hopefully this will only be a one-year deal.”
“We had a lot of obstacles to overcome this year,” Green said. “The Chamber wants to commend Sallisaw Mayor Ernie Martens, Mix 105.1 owner Darren Girdner and others who began meeting in November to make plans for the Junior Livestock Show. They did this for the kids and we appreciate all their hard work.”
The livestock show will begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday with goats, sheep and cattle, followed by swine at 4 p.m. Thursday. Awards will be handed out at 6 p.m. Friday and a virtual auction will follow, and both will be streamed live on The Mix 105.1 Facebook page and MixTV Channel 19. The events are being filmed and broadcast for those unable to attend. Bidding will be limited to those attending the bidder's auction. Bidding virtually will not be possible.
Bidders attending the auction will find seating that is separated by 6 feet for safety as well. As an additional safety measure, there will be no animals at the sale. The students will instead show photos, cutouts or other images of their animals for bidders to see. There will also be safety protocols in place to ensure the safety of those showing their animals or exhibiting items at the event, including required masks and social distancing. Green also noted that the city will be using its fogging machine to disinfect areas during the shows.
Roger Stites, Sallisaw High School’s Vo-Ag instructor and FFA leader, is the longtime chairman of the livestock show committee. He said being a member of Future Farmers of America is a great opportunity for students to learn the importance of hard work and commitment in working toward a goal. “These kids put a lot of work into their animals. Some have worked for nearly a year getting their animals ready, grooming them daily, exercising them and weighing them. It’s a long process.”
FFA teaches students a lot more than showmanship, Stites said. “They learn leadership, judging, welding and other tasks that often lead to successful careers in their future.”
Stites has taught 34 years and will be retiring this year after 18 years of working for Sallisaw High School.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
For more news stories stay tuned to The MIX 105.1 or visit www.kxmx.com