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July 3, 2013

Junior Livestock Show to kick off Sunday

Striped tents will soon be up at the Iroquois Farm Showgrounds as a local tradition continues.

The Farmers’ Museum 66th annual Junior Livestock Show will start Sunday. According to organizers, the three-day event will bring together the areas best livestock and youth exhibitors from a nine-county region. More than 250 youth handlers and 750 animals are expected to participate.

According to coordinator Meg Preston, the show has grown over the years as well as moved to several locations since it’s inception in 1947.

Stephen C. Clark Jr. established The Farmers’ Museum cup to give to 4-Hers showing at the Otsego County Fair in 1947, Preston said. The following year, she said, a show was held on the museum’s grounds where the carousel is now.

“I believe it was just a one-day show then,” she said.

Preston, who grew up in Cooperstown, said she remembers going to watch the show across the road from the museum near the lake as a child. She said she was not sure when it was moved.

“I believe it was in the early ‘80s when it got moved to its current site (the Iroquois Farm on county Route 33 south of Cooperstown), “she added.

Since 1947, The Farmers’ Museum has collaborated with the Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program to produce the show, which is the second largest youth competition in New York state. The event tests the skills of youth handlers ages 8 to 18 who present animals (dairy cows, beef, swine, dairy goats and sheep) that they own, care for and have prepared for competition.

There are other shows that are smaller that a lot of the children participate in, according to Preston. However, she said none quite compare to the junior show because there is no fair atmosphere and it is all about the youth taking responsibility and preparing their animals for show.

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