BHS FFA travels to Perry, competes in Georgia National Fair Livestock Show; Grubbs competes in Panhandle Youth Expo

Published 10:29 am Thursday, October 26, 2023

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The beginning of this month was a busy and important time for the Bainbridge High School FFA’s livestock show team, as members traveled to Perry to compete in the Georgia National Fair livestock competitions. There was plenty of competition, with over 800 entries in the Heifer Show, and 1,125 entries in the Market Hog and Breeding Gilt Show.

The events began with the National Fair Cattle Show, from October 5-7, with Addison Cook, Ansley Cook, Abby Grubbs, and Carson Lynn each competing in the Heifer Show. Addison, Ainsley and Carson competed in the senior showmanship division on Friday, while Abby competed in the 11th grade showmanship division. Each student competed in heats for their grade, with Abby being selected as the top showman in her grade’s heat, advancing to the final round for 11th grade.

The following day saw the team compete in the heifer show. Abby Grubbs and her heifer Maz were named class winners for class 4 in the All Other Breeds show, and advanced to the Overall Breed championship. Carson Lynn and his heifer Dolly placed 6th in class 3 of the Simmental show, while Ansley Cook and her heifer Dakota placed 3rd in class 6 of the Simmental show. Addison Cook and her heifer Betsy competed in the commercial heifer show, placing 9th in their class.

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The following week, from October 12-14, saw the Georgia National Fair host its Market Hog and Breeding Gilt Show. Both Carson and Preston Lynn entered into the Swine Show, with both competing in their grade-level showmanship divisions that Thursday. Preston and his barrow Mater competed in the 9th Grade showmanship division, heat 3, and were chosen as one of the heat’s top showmen, allowing them to progress to the 9th Grade showmanship’s final drive. Preston and Mater ultimately placed as the 3rd Overall 9th Grade Showman.

At the same time, Carson and his barrow Mauck competed in heat 3 for the Senior showmanship division, being named finalists in the heat and progressing to the Senior final drive. Ultimately, Carson was named Overall Grand Champion Senior Swine Showman. For being named the Champion Senior Showman, Carson won both the champion buckle, as well as the Leslie Barber Memorial Livestock Scholarship.

Following this huge win, that Friday saw Carson and his Chester White gilt placed 1st in class 2 of the All Other Breeds show, advancing them to the All Other breeds Champion Drive, where they were chosen as the Grand Champion All Other Breeds Breeding Gilt. Carson also competed in class 7 of the Crossbred Breeding Gilt class, earning 1st in their class and receiving top honors. He also competed in the crossbred Gilt Show, placing 5th in his class.

Both Preston and Carson returned on that Saturday to compete in the Market Barrow Show. Preston and Mater placed 3rd in their class in the Duroc division show. Carson and his Barrow Huff placed 1st in their class in the Crossbred division show, earning them a spot in the Division 4 Drive. Preston and his barrow Wide Belt placed 2nd in their class of the Crossbred Show and appeared in the Divison 4 Drive. Carson and Mauck also placed 2nd in class 17 of the Crossbred Show. During the Division 4 Championship Drive, Carson and Huff were named the Division 4 Champions. This win earned their spot to return to the Overall Final Drive of the Market Barrow Show, where he was selected as the 3rd Overall Champion Market Barrow.

At the same time as the Hog and Gilt Shows were taking place, Abby Grubbs and Maz were also competing in the Panhandle Youth Expo in Marianna, Florida. That Friday night saw the duo named Reserve Champion Senior Showmen, and that Saturday, they were named Grand Champion Chianina Heifer. This win advanced them to the final drive of the heifer show, where they won Reserve Supreme Overall Heifer.

Each of the students commented on their performance at the National Fair this year when compared to last year.

“Comparing this year to last year, I am thankful for both heifers as they have brought home banners at the fair each year. I can not wait to continue my year with my current heifer and see how she progresses,” Abby said.

“The best I did last year was win a division, but this year, I was selected as 3rd Overall for the whole show!” Carson Lynn remarked. “Times in the barn and the show ring aren’t always going to be easy, and you aren’t always going to get what you want, but you have to keep your head down and keep working, because your hard work will eventually pay off.”

Preston Lynn was also positive, saying, “I did amazingly better than last year! Last year, I didn’t even make it past my showmanship heat; this year, I was selected as the 3rd Overall 9th-grade Showman!” He added, “As a livestock showman, I have to remember the verse Philippians 4:13 constantly- ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’ because when times get hard and when I feel that I want to give up, I look up and remember that God is there and will help guide me through anything that stands before me.”

“This year, I went into the fair with a different mindset,” Addison said. “I didn’t place as well as last year, but I went in with the mindset that it’s my last year, and I am not here to win, but to have fun. That’s what it is all about.”

I have been working very hard with my heifer to prepare her for each show. I love showing cattle, which has been the biggest and best part of my high school experience!” Ansley said. “I didn’t get to show last year, but this year, I am taking full advantage of it being my last year showing cattle at the fair.”

The Livestock team is hardly done with this season. Carson and Preston are both heading to Louisville, Kentucky to compete in the North American International Livestock Exposition; Abby Grubbs will be competing in the Southwest Georgia Exchange Club Fair, the National Peanut Festival, and several local jackpot shows this year, as well as the Georgia National Livestock Show and Rodeo next year; and both Addison and Ansley also aim to compete in the Southwest Georgia Exchange Club Fair and the national Livestock Show and Rodeo, as well as a few jackpot shows.