Roy Lee Lindsey: OYE, Livestock Show Program Have Long-Lasting ResultsFri, 21 Mar 2014 13:02:48 CDT
Thousands of students and thousands of head of livestock move through the show rings during the ten days of the Oklahoma Youth Expo each year at State Fair Park. And this year was no different said Roy Lee Lindsey, executive director of the Oklahoma Pork Council. He spoke with Radio Oklahoma Network's Ron Hays about the scale of the event and the impact it has on everyone connected with it.
"It's tremendous, the number of kids that come through this show ring. And every judge we've ever had here for as long as I've been doing it-and I think this is my 16th Junior Livestock Show/Oklahoma Youth Expo since I've been back at the Pork Council-and every judge we've had in the time I've been here just raves about what good kids we've got, how respectful they are of the judges and how well they handle their hogs. And I think we should take a lot of pride in our teachers and our extension agents and our parents for teaching our kids those things."
Lindsey has been a part of OYE for a long time and said he is still amazed that the number of hogs shown keeps growing each year, despite rising costs.
"We're up about 150 head of barrows over what we had a year ago. We're up over 2,550 head that are here-not what was entered, because we had a whole bunch that were entered that they decided to leave at home-but we're talking about what actually showed up and turned in on entry cards when they got here. We had almost 2,000 head of gilts. So, we're more than 4,500-plus hogs here over five days. Some of those kids have four or five projects in that group. I would guess that we're looking at something in the neighborhood of 1500, maybe 1800 kids out of that mix as well."
Raising and showing hogs may seem entirely different than the commercial production of hogs, but Lindsey said that what the students learn in the program is directly transferable to a commercial operation.
"From a commercial standpoint, what you're hoping to get out of this program as these kids come up is a love of animals and a knowledge of how to handle animals- then when you go into commercial production and we put you in a barn or a farm, then you know what to do with animals- If you've already got a love for hogs and you understand that, sometimes, hogs are just ornery and that's the way they are, then you're a step ahead of some of those other kids."
And, Lindsey said, the show program has a tremendous and long-lasting impact on the students.
"We had a young man who went through our leadership camp that spoke at Pork Congress who told us before leadership camp he wanted to be a sports therapist or something to that effect. He's now changed his mind and what he really wants to do is be a swine nutritionist. Well, now, that's a huge change and a transition from a guy who had five show pigs. He had a five-sow herd at home and he was talking about how big that was until we took him to a 5,000-head sow farm and that was like, 'Now I understand what a real scale is, in terms of doing.' So there's a lot out here that you can learn."
The Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Multi Media Platform coverage of the Oklahoma Youth Expo is powered by Devon Energy- where commitment runs deep- and by the Title Sponsor of the 2014 OYE, McDonald's- I'm Loving It.
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