Showcasing young agriculture producers in the region at the Western Junior Livestock Show

Oakleigh Reis-Elwood prepares grain for her sheep and goat.
Oakleigh Reis-Elwood prepares grain for her sheep and goat.(KOTA/KEVN)
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 3:45 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - This week the Western Junior Livestock Show brings in kids from all over the region to show off their animals and showmanship skills.

The county fair or state fair is an end-of-summer staple for many people. For kids showing animals, it does not stop there. Before kids get to the show ring, the preparation for their animals takes months. The young producers start many of their days with morning chores, making sure they have food and water, keeping them warm during the winter and cool during the summer.

“It’s taught me responsibility and hard work. We have a daily routine to take care of these animals to the best of our abilities. A lot of times we take care of them before we take care of ourselves. So, with hard work and time, you get better and better,” said Keeleigh Reis-Elwood, a senior in high school. Reis-Elwood shows dairy cattle, dairy goats, and sheep.

Getting better and winning is the goal of these young agricultural producers. For the Reis-Elwood family showing livestock is a part of family tradition and continuing the legacy is important to them.

“My family has also shown animals for a long time and I always helped with my older siblings, and I just knew that I always wanted to do it when I got older,” shared Oakleigh Reis-Elwood, a seventh grader. “I still don’t really get my own animal specifically ready by myself. So, I hope to learn how to do that on my own.”

This is the last show of the year for the Reis-Elwood girls. For many others at the Western Junior Livestock Show, this is one of the many stops they make throughout the year. Like Jesse Larson, where his family takes their cattle to many stops throughout the year.

For many agriculture producers taking their livestock to shows is how they advertise their cattle.