STOCKTON – Emily Pacas spent part of the early afternoon Monday sheering her sheep.
A recent graduate of East Union High, she made sure that her 145-pound Suffolk Hampshire Cross named ‘Luna’ will be ready for the next day’s judging at the San Joaquin Ag Fest.
This fourth annual San Joaquin County Junior Show and Auction got underway over the weekend at the fairgrounds, 1658 S. Airport Way.
Pacas is a member of the East Union High Future Farmers of America. She nurtured Luna from the time she was still in her mother’s womb.
This her second year of showing a livestock project at Ag Fest.
Her sheep from last year was named ‘Penelope,’ who, much like Luna, was tended, fed and groomed regularly at the Manteca Unified school farm.
“It was kind of hard on me when (Penelope) was auctioned off,” Pacas recalled.
She savored one final goodbye to her first-ever sheep project in passing. However, Pacas, who will be attending Fresno State in the fall, did earn $1,000 for the animal.
Like most FFA and 4-H students, Pacas indicated that any her of Ag Fest earnings will go towards her college fund.
According to Chris Schallberger, who is vice president of the SJC Junior Show & Auction Council Board, the Ag Fest can be invaluable learning experience.
“Every project takes a lot of hard work,” she said of the participants.
Included are those from Manteca High, East Union, Sierra, Lathrop, Weston Ranch, and Ripon FFA chapters not to mention the local 4-H Clubs.
Schallberger noted that Ag Fest is partnership of Delta Cal Section FFA, SJC 4H, San Joaquin County Office of Education’s Educational Foundation and the 2nd Agricultural District.
Various donations including from individuals and businesses including J.R. Simplot also make possible this weeklong event.
This year’s event features 814 exhibitors, said Skottlyn Snyder in livestock. She’s also in charge of organizing the Ag Fest judges.
For the FFA and 4-H Club exhibitors, they fairgrounds will be their home away from home.
“I was here at 7 this morning and I’ll be here till 8 p.m.,” said Pacas. “It’ll be that way through most of this week.”
For more information, click of to www.sanjoaquinagfest.org.