The show must go, organizers voted earlier this year for the 2021 Johnson County Junior Livestock Show and Youth Fair. The annual show is hosted by the Johnson County Livestock Agricultural Association for youth 4-H, FFA and FCLAA members.
“It was never a question of whether or not it was going to happen, it was a question of how was it going to happen,” JCLAA President Mark McClure said. “Our goal is to give the students — in any year — an opportunity to exhibit their livestock, ag mechanics or youth fair and support their agricultural pursuits. This year was not any different. We still want to give them the opportunity.”
This year’s show will look different because of COVID-19 precautions, which required show organizers to spread out the shows. This year the show kicks off Sunday with the turkey and broilers show.
“The first thing I want to say is I appreciate all the local officials because they’ve done everything they can to help us,” McClure said. “We’ve been required to write some plans and things on how we’re going to operate.”
Rules will be implemented, such as everyone being required to wear a face mask while on the Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse Grounds. Exhibitors may remove masks while in show ring.
Exhibitors and guests are asked to practice social distancing, and they are asked to refrain from gathering in large groups. Hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the grounds.
Concessions will not be available and hospitality tents are prohibited.
Exhibitors are only allowed to be on grounds the days they are exhibiting their projects.
“At this point we’re just excited that it’s going to happen,” McClure said. “It’s going to look different all the way to the sale. Our goal is to keep everybody safe and have a show.”
At the Jan. 9 sale, masks will be required and the sales floor will be open to buyers only. Each exhibitor is allowed up to two guests to stay within building occupancy guidelines.
A live and virtual auction will be held at cci.live
This year’s show is being dedicated to Jon Thetford, a longtime JCLAA volunteer who passed away in March.
“We chose to dedicate the show to Jon Thetford because of his longtime participation and volunteering in the show,” McClure said. “With Jon, kind of like with any good couple, it was Jon, it was his wife and it kind of became a family affair. He spent tons of times, hundreds of hours dedicated to the show, especially in his role as secretary. It’s just a way to honor him and all the lives he touched.”
Thetford’s wife, Kimberly, will be present at the sale to receive a special presentation in his honor.
For a complete list of entries and the show’s schedule of events, see the special section in the B section of Saturday's paper.