Fall means time for the Western Junior Livestock Show and the Western 4-H Family and Consumer Science Show held at the Central States Fairgrounds in Rapid City. This year on October 10-13, the Golden Diamond Anniversary Show will recognize the 75th year for the Livestock Show (WJLS) and the 50th year for the Family and Consumer Science Show (FCSS).
The events for October 10 include registration of livestock for the 200 exhibitors and non-livestock exhibits as well as WJLS scholarship interviews.
Thursday evening, Oct. 11, the 5th Annual WJLS supper and program will kick off the alumni and public events. The Cattleman’s Family Legacy scholarship winners will also be announced. This event will be held in the Fine Arts Building. The committee would like to have reservations made by noon that day to Jackie Maude at (605-255-4445). A free will offering will be taken. The shows are looking for third, fourth and fifth generation families.
On Friday, a Burger Bust will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee and will be in the Fine Arts Building.
The FCS and WJLS contests will begin that afternoon. The event features contests for developing life skills. 4-H members, other youth, adults and alumni are encouraged to enter. New participants are encouraged and you do not need to preregister. Contestants may come from outside the state of South Dakota. Board members and volunteers are available to assist you if you are a newcomer to the contests. Visitors are also welcome to view the contests, style show and awards ceremony at the close of these contests on Saturday. Some contests have special areas for alumni exhibits such as photos of the older shows, scrapbook pages and centerpieces. Visit the sdleadersassociation and western junior websites or call (307-283-1229) for more information.
The Alumni Showmanship Contest will be held Friday at 5 p.m. in the Soule Building. This contest will pair current exhibitors with alumni to show in three categories, beef, swine, and sheep. There will be age groups for alumni starting with age 19 and ending with 63 and above.
Friday evening, the two shows will combine for the Golden Anniversary Celebration which starts at 7 p.m. in the Walter Taylor Building. A memorabilia display, time of memory sharing, slide show and recognition of sponsors will highlight the event which will include ice cream and cheese from South Dakota State University. Everyone is encouraged to bring pictures, trophies and scrapbooks to share.
Saturday will include contests in Livestock Judging, Place Setting Contest, Public Presentation Contest, Beginning Measuring, FCS Judging, Vegetable ID and Judging Contest, FCS Skill-a-Thon and Fashion Revue Judging.
The livestock sales will start at 1 and 3 p.m. in the Soule Building. The 2013 Futurity Heifer Show will be held as well.
The Western 4-H Family and Consumer Science Show concludes with a style show and honoree tea at 3 p.m.
The WJLS began in 1937 as a means to promote the beef cattle industry in western South Dakota with a partnership between ranchers and the 4-H program. The first show had 110 calves and 14 4-H entries. In 1963, the Queen City Mail of Spearfish, SD reported that about 800 calves were shown and contestants came from five states.
The show has been put on by volunteers through out the 75 years. A quote from a book for the 60th Anniversary of the Livestock Show said, “one of the strengths of this show is that people pop up as volunteers, helping out with whatever is needed, and the next thing you know, they’ve been there for years.” The same is true of the FCS Show as many of the board of directors were show participants and now continue to volunteer to organize the show each fall. Many volunteers are the third and fourth generation of the WJLS. Time and time again, the alumni of the two shows recount the memorable long time friendships from the show.