Ag News

GFB presents grand prizes for Jr. National goat and lamb winners

The hard work Victoria Barber, Payton Jackson and Shelby Stephenson put into preparing their goats and lamb for the 2017 State 4-H & FFA Market Goat & Lamb Shows paid off as each walked out of the ring as grand champion winners. The shows, held Oct. 6-8 during the Georgia National Fair (GNF) in Perry, attracted 156 students who showed 341 lambs in the market lamb show and 517 students who showed 384 wethers (castrated male goat) and 582 does (female goat) in the market goat show.

Barber won the grand champion market lamb award of $1,000. Jackson captured the grand champion market doe award of $1,500, and Stephenson took home the grand champion market wether award of $1,500.

The Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture sponsored the grand champion prizes for these three shows that are part of the State 4-H & FFA Georgia Junior National Livestock Show program. Georgia Farm Bureau is serving as the premier livestock sponsor for the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter for the 2017-2018 season and as such sponsored many other prizes given to participants in the GNF livestock shows. 

Barber, a member of the Colquitt County FFA, is the daughter of Cecil and Celina Barber of Moultrie. A junior at Colquitt County High School, she has shown lambs for seven years. Barber originally wanted a horse, but since she lives in town she found showing sheep to be more practical and found a barn near her house to board her sheep.

“I get up at 5 o’clock in the morning to work my animals – to practice showing them,” Barber said. “I live in South Georgia and it’s just so hot in the afternoon, so we know if we go in the morning it’ll be a lot better for us and the animals.”

 Jackson, a member of the Banks County Middle School FFA, is the daughter of Kipp and Lara Jackson of Commerce. A freshman, Jackson has been showing for 10 years and previously won this award in 2014.

“I like the friendships you get to make around the state,” Jackson answered when asked what she likes most about showing.

 Her workout regimen for producing a grand champion goat includes practicing bracing her goat for 20 minutes combined with six minutes of walking the goat on a treadmill. Bracing is positioning an animal to showcase its overall form and muscles.

Stephenson, the daughter of Shane and Christy Stephenson of Jasper, is a junior at Pickens County High School and a member of the Pickens FFA. This is her second year showing goats.

‘I worked him every single day since May walking him and bracing him,” Stephenson said. “The thing I like most about showing is being around my family and friends and being in an amazing industry that teaches you about life.”