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San Joaquin AgFest opens 7-day run Sunday

STOCKTON — The San Joaquin AgFest Junior Livestock Show and Auction takes place Sunday, June 9, through Saturday, June 15, at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds.  

All San Joaquin County 4-H, and FFA members with projects in the beef, swine, sheep, goats, dairy, rabbits, cavy and dog areas will compete at the show and auction.  Members who have vocational projects such as welding, wood, plants and vegetables will also exhibit their projects during the 7-day show.

 The biggest difference from past years is the lack of all feathered animal shows. Due to the recent confirmation by the California Department of Food and Agriculture of a chicken in Northern California with Virulent Newcastle Disease AgFest cancelled all poultry-related exhibits for the 2019 show. Many of these exhibitors were able to switch to another species like rabbits or goats. That means the AgFest will have twice as many rabbits and 40 more goats entered this year. They also have added an educational poultry poster contest with cash prizes so poultry exhibitors can highlight their expertise in chickens and turkeys.

The San Joaquin AgFest Junior Livestock Show & Auction replaces the San Joaquin County Fair’s livestock show and auction.   In 2013, the San Joaquin County Fair decided that they could not financially put on a fair.  So, the parents, leaders and advisors organized a non-profit organization and created AgFest so youth members had a place to show their livestock and vocational projects.

All of the exhibitors learn to custom feed and humanely raise their large or small livestock projects.  During the show, all the animals are judged by qualified industry professionals to be determined market ready.  Many of the members who raise animals will use the profit for college and trade school education in the future.  Some of the members started with one animal and began a breeding program.  By the end of their 4-H or FFA career they will have a herd of animals or a flock of birds and possibly a small business.

Admission is free daily before 10 a.m. Parking is $10  per car.

The junior show and auction has a website, with a list of daily events and livestock shows.