Youths Will Demonstrate Their Livestock Knowledge, Skills

— Written By and last updated by Kim Davis

It’s that time of year again! I can almost taste the popcorn, hear the children yelling, and see the bright lights of the rides. That’s right…it’s fair time!! Wayne County has one of the biggest fairs in the state and many of us are involved in the 10-day event in some way or another. This year’s fair (September 25-October 4) has a schedule that looks fantastic.

In addition to the rides, the food, and the entertainment, the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair places a heavy emphasis on agriculture. Not only is it in the name, but exhibits and shows are dedicated to promoting this huge part of life in Wayne County. With this in mind, let me direct your attention to the youth livestock events.

The livestock shows begin on the first week of the fair. Thursday night, opening night, features one of our largest agricultural resources in this area of the state: pigs. The market hog show will take place on September 25 at 6 p.m.

The junior meat goat show is part of the “Carolina Youth Meat Goat Circuit” which is a combination of ten shows across eastern NC. The youth participants compete for showmanship points, with the highest point earners in each age category being recognized at the State Fair. Showmanship is the ability to raise, fit, train and show an animal to its best potential. The judge may ask exhibitors questions about the feeding regimen, knowledge of the animal’s body conformation, what they would change about their animal, and how they have worked with their animal prior to the show. The junior meat goat show will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 26.

The lamb and heifer shows are part of the “Eastern Carolina Showmanship Circuit,” a combination of eight shows around eastern NC. As stated above, the participants compete for showmanship points (like the Meat Goat Circuit, just with different species). Saturday, September 27, the market lamb show begins at 12 noon. The last traditional livestock show, the junior beef heifer show, takes place on Sunday, September 28, at 2 p.m. All events will be held at the Livestock Tent.

On Tuesday, September 30at 4:30 p.m., youth will have the opportunity to compete in the Livestock Skillathon Contest. This contest will test 4-H and FFA participants’ knowledge of breeds, meat cuts, tools, feedstuffs, and evaluation techniques used in livestock production. Our animal shows wrap up on Thursday, October 2. An open halter Pony, Mule and Draft Horse show will be held at 6 p.m. and the open halter Horse show will be at 7 p.m., October 2.

No matter what your animal preference may be, the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair has it all! Come support the young people of eastern North Carolina as they show off their knowledge and livestock projects. For a complete schedule of shows and other fair activities, fair catalogs are available free of charge at the Fairgrounds office and at the Cooperative Extension office.

Stefani Garbacik is the Livestock and Forage agriculture extension agent for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Wayne County. If you need further assistance with livestock, animal waste, horse or forage concerns please contact her at or (919) 731-1525.