Washington County Youth Fair

The Washington County Youth Fair has been an annual tradition in our county since the 1970’s.  In a conversation with Addison Prescott, 4-H Agent Julie Pigott Dillard, learned that the fair originated as the Northwest Florida Dairy Show where Prescott exhibited dairy cattle.  Originally held at Shiver’s Park, the show was held under lights brought in by the power company.  You might even remember when the ag center had a dirt floor, and the show was held in what is now the auditorium.  The WCYF Livestock Show and Sale is now held in the large barn, which Prescott was instrumental in soliciting funding for, behind the Washington County Agricultural Center.

Kenzey Aukema talks with the showmanship judge about her swine project (2008 WCYF)

This year’s fair will be filled with entries in categories including crafts, photography and baked goods from local school aged youth, 4-H poultry and rabbit projects and 4-H and FFA swine, steer and heifer projects.  Take note of the fair schedule below:

Monday, February 26                    3-5 pm                 General entry check-in

Tuesday, February 27                    5 pm                     4-H Members Showcase

Wednesday, February 28              3-5 pm                 Rabbit, Poultry, Eggs, Crops check-in

Thursday, March 1                         5 pm                     Rabbit and Poultry Showmanship check-in

Friday, March 2                               7:30 am               Steer and Heifer Check-in

8:30 am               Swine Check-in

4:30                      Farm Bureau Spaghetti Supper

6 pm                     Beef and Swine Showmanship

Saturday, March 3                          9 am                     Beef and Swine Market Classes

6 pm                     Livestock Auction

A highlight of the fair is the livestock auction held on Saturday night.  Here, 4-H and FFA members show off their hard work and auction off their projects so that community members can show their support of youth as well as put high-quality meat in their freezers.  Steers will be sold by the pound at 950 lbs. and up; hogs are also sold by the pound between 210-300 lbs.  This year, heifers will be sold by the head.

Joey Jordan, Ciera McEntyre and Abby Sapp display their Best of Show entries (2011 WCYF)

To participate in the auction, check-in at the auction table from 5-5:45 pm in the livestock barn.  As a buyer, you can buy the animal outright and put it in your freezer after processing, or you can buy then “re-sell” the animal if you wish to support youth in the fair but don’t want to take the animal home.  Payment is expected at the close of the auction.  Transportation to local processing facilities is provided.  If you choose to take the animal to another location, you may do so the night of the sale or by Monday at the latest.

Desiree Beman, Tiffany Terrell and Emily Whorwell were the top best showmanship winner (2016 WCYF)

For fair related questions, contact Julie Pigott Dillard, 4-H Agent.  For auction related questions, contact Mark Mauldin, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.  UF/IFAS Extension Washington County is located at 1424 Jackson Avenue in Chipley and can be reached by phone at  850-638-6180.