The Planted Row: Shows a chance for kids to display work

Farm Forum

Do you remember the first time you took a heifer or a steer by the halter and led it around? If you’ve lived your life in the ag world, chances are you were a kid when that moment took place. You might have been learning how to show the animal in the show ring. If you were like me, you were aware that the animal was probably 10 times your weight and could make short work of you if you annoyed it too much. Hopefully, by the time you competed in your first show ring, you were pretty confident.

Confidence is what I have seen on the faces of the children who compete at the Northern Plains Livestock Day, and I expect I will see more of the same on June 4 at this year’s event at the Brown County Fairgrounds in Aberdeen. It’s always impressive to see a 70-pound kid lead around an animal weighing closer to 1,000 pounds. That’s fun for the parents and spectators, but that only happens because the kid (and parents) put in a lot of work before reaching the show ring.

However, the show isn’t just for cattle. Sheep and goats are included, as well, and the real point of the show is the work that goes into raising those animals, regardless of what type. As the kids feed and groom the animals they intend to show, they are not only learning how to handle animals, they are learning how to become future producers by raising the best animals possible. The show ring is the place where they get to show off the results of all that hard work.

It wouldn’t be much fun for those kids to raise the animals if they never got recognized for it. That’s why, every year, the Aberdeen-Area Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee organizes and runs the Northern Plains Livestock Day, and it’s why the event is registered with the South Dakota Junior Points Show Association for beef cattle, sheep, and goats. The participants at the Aberdeen show accumulate points to add to points won at other shows during the summer. This lets participants compete not only with kids in their region but also with kids across the state.

If you know someone who would like to compete at the Northern Plains Livestock Day, you might want to remind them that all registrations after May 31 will incur a late fee and that all participants registering before June 1 will be included in a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to Dakota Livestock Supply. The certificate is courtesy of Glenn Jakober, in memory of his wife, Sharon.

Registration and payment options for all classes can be found online at under the Chamber Calendar tab.

Ever since I started volunteering at the event two years ago, I’ve heard parents say what a great show it is. And they’re right. During the day there are smiles all around. Smiles from kids. Smiles from proud parents. And smiles from satisfied volunteers.

However, the show always needs more volunteers. After all, it’s an all-day event. If you have some time on June 4, even just a couple of hours, you could put it to good use by giving young people a chance to prove they have what it takes to become our future livestock producers. If you would like to help us run the show, please call Lisa at the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce at 605-225-2860 or email