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It’s expo time again

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The Ellis County Press

ELLIS COUNTY—Area youth will converge on Waxahachie for the 14th Annual Ellis County Youth Expo March 25 - March 29 with steers, heifers, lambs, rabbits, hogs, broilers and goats in tow.

Record breaking proceeds were raised last year. Market sales, premium money and add-ons brought in more than $400,000 with all money going directly to county youth.

Youth aged 9-19 compete each year in the hopes of their animal being named grand champion or reserve champion. Selling their prized animals students win valuable prize money to be used as needed.

Months preceding the expo 4-H participants are taught how to properly care for their animals, industry standards with a hard work ethic being ingrained.

The expo allows youth to learn 'How to show off the best attributes of showing animals,' said Dianne Bailey, Ellis County extension agent.

Each class will be judged by expert judges at specified times during the week with the top third moving to the selling ring. Each class is judged by a paid professional expert, which has demonstrated an extensive knowledge of the animals in their division. Only the top third of each class will be presented to buyers during the expo.

Program coordinators developed a pee-wee division to let younger youth, under nine years of age, gain experience while participating.

'Developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education' is the mission of FFA according to Michelle Fulley, communications specialist for the FFA.

More than 800 projects presented by more than 500 students will be shown at this year's annual expo.

Prior to the county expo organization every local school district hosted separate expos for students to show their animals. Winners from the school's contest would compete against other area school winners.

Admission is free and the public is strongly encouraged to attend to support the area's local youth.

Barbecue lunch will be served starting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 29. Tickets are $6 per person. Live animal auctioning will begin at 12:30 pm.

For more information, contact the Ellis County Extension Office at 972-923-5175.

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