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).
Many special events are planned to bring current exhibitors, parents, show alumni, sponsors and the public together to compete, renew friendships and make new friends.
The events for October 10 include registration of livestock for the 200 exhibitors and non-livestock exhibits as well as WJLS scholarship interviews.
On Thursday evening, October 11, the 5th Annual WJLS Supper and program will kick off the alumni and public events. The Western Junior Livestock Show will recognize this year's honoree which is the Snyder Family of Piedmont, S.D. as they are descendants of one of the original show founders, Enos Blair. The family has participated for five generations in the WJLS in some manner. 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 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. Please visit the SD. Leaders Association and Western Junior websites or call (307-283-1229) for more information.
The contests begin with the Bread Baking Contest at 9 a.m. on Friday. Alumni may enter a loaf of bread by 5 p.m. Other contests are Meat Identification, Home Living Exhibits, Family Life Photos, Place Setting Contest and Cloverbud Place Setting Event, Beginner's Measuring Contest/ Cloverbud Event, Vegetable ID and Judging Contest and Family and Consumer Science Skill-a-Thon Contest from 2:30 to 5 p.m. The Grass and Range Plant ID Contest will also be held. A Cloverbud is a child not yet 4-H age. The contests will take place in the Fine Arts, Creative Arts, Walter Taylor and Soule buildings at the Fairgrounds. The livestock show will also have Feeder Calf, Goat, Dairy shows and showmanship contests starting at 8:30 AM and continuing throughout the day in the Soule Building.
What should be a must for show attendees is the Alumni Showmanship Contest, 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. There will be category awards as well as an overall champion who will receive a buckle and bragging rights. They would like to have you sign up by calling (605-255-4445.) Current Exhibitors will work with the alumni and their animals so it will be a wonderful way to form new friendships.
Friday evening, the two shows will combine for the Golden Anniversary Celebration which starts at 7 p.m. in the Walter Taylor Building. The committee encourages everyone to attend. 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 also include special events starting with coffee and rolls in various locations on the fairgrounds. The following contests will also be held from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, and everyone is encouraged to participate. The contests are 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 show will honor the original director's of the event which include Charlotte Bryant Schuttler, Spearfish, S.D.; Joyce Bower Bowman, Rapid City, S.D. and Donna Ham, Rapid City, S.D. We also hope to have descendant of other directors at the event.
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 founders of the show were Walter Taylor and Raymond Lund, Rapid City, S.D.; Enos Blair, Tilford, S.D.; Ernest Ham, Piedmont, S.D. The first show had 110 calves and 14 4-H entries. In 1963, the Queen City Mail of Spearfish, S.D. reported that about 800 calves were shown and contestants came from five states.
The Western 4-H Family and Consumer Science Show was originally called the Western 4-H Home Economics Show. According to Joyce Bower Bowman, an original member of the show executive board, the show was organized at the conclusion of a training meeting for Extension agents in the spring of 1962. Lyndell Peterson, who was the West River 4-H agent, met with the Home Demonstration agents after being approached by Donna Ham, a Black Hills Milk producer about including girls in the Western Junior Livestock Show. The first show was held that fall with dairy food demonstrations and dress revue. The show grew quickly and included more contests and girls from many counties in South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.
The show has been put on by volunteers throughout 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.