For the past 14 years the premier exhibitor program has recognized 4-H and FFA members who may not have champion animals but who have a thorough understanding of animal science.
“The awards are based on performance in tests of each youth’s knowledge of the livestock industry, practical exercises demonstrating skills and the ability to communicate effectively,” said Dwayne Nunez, LSU AgCenter livestock show manager.
Program participants have to pass an exam, take part in a skill-a-thon, write an essay, prepare a resume and show poise and confidence during an interview with livestock show officials, Nunez said.
The winning youths were among 30 finalists and scores of contestants in the program, which recognizes outstanding livestock exhibitors in six categories – beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry, sheep, goats and swine.
"The premier exhibitor program definitely is about the young people rather than prize-winning animals,” said LSU AgCenter Vice Chancellor Paul Coreil. “It recognizes them for their skills and abilities, as well as their commitment and hard work.”
Through an endowment from Gerry Lane Enterprises of Baton Rouge, the top winner in each premier exhibitor category received a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond, a commemorative belt buckle and a monogrammed jacket. Each of the other four finalists in each category was awarded a trophy.
This year’s top winners in the LSU AgCenter’s Gerry Lane Premier Exhibitor Program are:
– Beef Premier Exhibitor – Adam Barrilleaux, Ascension Parish.
– Dairy Premier Exhibitor – Morgan Richard, Jefferson Davis Parish.
– Goat Premier Exhibitor – Hunter Tauzin, St. Martin Parish.
– Poultry Premier Exhibitor – Gregg Simmons, DeSoto Parish.
– Sheep Premier Exhibitor – Javen Little, Cameron Parish.
– Swine Premier Exhibitor – Christopher McVicker, Jefferson Davis Parish.
Other finalists in this year’s premier exhibitor program, by category and in order of placing, are:
Beef – Josh Scott, Tangipahoa Parish; Cade Marceaux, Vermilion Parish; Avery Boone, Ouachita Parish; Niki Dutile, Lafayette Parish.
Dairy – Ayla Baugh, Vermilion Parish; Brady Brian, East Feliciana Parish; Avery Boone, Ouachita Parish; Keirstyn Sonnier, Lincoln, Parish.
Goats – Jade Daspit, Lafayette Parish; Morgan Thibodeaux, St. Martin Parish; Paige Quebedeaux, Lafourche Parish; Luke Patin, St. Martin Parish.
Poultry – Megan Simon, Lafayette Parish; Viki-Dawn Landry, Ascension Parish; Tommy Renick, Caddo Parish; Jade Daspit, Lafayette Parish.
Sheep – Deborah Rogers, Washington Parish; Chase Bijeaux, St. Martin Parish; John LeJeune, Calcasieu Parish; Mary Rogers, Washington Parish.
Swine – Ethan Boudreaux, Iberia Parish; Jordan Guidry, St. Martin Parish; Niki Dutile, Lafayette Parish; Leah Delahoussaye, Vermilion Parish.