iReporter
 
Shelly Spearman – Guest Contributor
Apr 6 @ 16:22
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The 2017 Rockwall Youth Fair will be dedicated to Mr. Odis Lowe, who passed away on November 4. Mr.

Lowe was an icon of the local and state agricultural community. He was passionate about educating youth on the importance of agriculture saying once, “it is the only essential industry and this program (4-H and FFA) teaches young people a basic understating of the production of food and fiber in this country.”  This drive to empower as many youth as possible with the opportunity to become involved in agricultural related experiences led to what is one of his greatest legacies. Mr. Lowe is the founding father of the Rockwall Youth Fair. Originally known as the Junior Livestock Show, this event was established in 1953 to give the young people of this area an opportunity to be recognized for their hard work in raising livestock and learning responsibility.  In 63 years he never missed one. Prior to the Market Auction which will begin at 1:00 pm Saturday, there will be a presentation honoring Mr. Lowe for his endless contributions over the last 63 years.

The Youth Fair has seen many changes over the years. Locations varied until 1987 when the Youth Fair was deeded the land known to most people as the Riding Club. The original building is still used today and is appropriately titled the OL Korral.  Prior to 1987, the events were held in empty fields in locations such as near the old Post Office,  the old Brookshire’s and even the parking lot near Wilkerson Sanders stadium. The original show held competitions for chickens, cattle, pigs and rabbits. Thanks to the dedication of Mr. Odis Lowe for his vision and the numerous of volunteers that spend hundreds of hours preparing, this event continues to grow. Rockwall ISD now owns and maintains the Rockwall ISD Ag Science Center where the Youth fair is held. They recognize the importance of agricultural education and over the years the original show arena has been added to with classrooms, a project barn for Rockwall ISD students who participate in 4-H and FFA to house livestock projects, as well as a growing Agricultural Mechanics instruction area. Because of the opportunity to house animal’s onsite, over 100 cattle, chickens, goats, rabbits, sheep and swine will pass through the show arena between Friday night and Saturday morning.  After the dedication to Mr. Lowe, the annual market sale will begin.  The sale will feature approximately 60 lots of broilers, goats, lambs, pigs and steers. The market sale is a great way to reward the youth by purchasing the animals raised so that they may put that money toward a future project or their college education. The buyer does not have to actually take possession of the animal unless they would like the meat processed which is done at the buyer cost. The animal can just be purchased as a tax-deducible donation.

Over the years the Youth Fair has also grown to include an Ag Mechanics Show, Clothing and Textiles Show and the popular Agricultural Awareness Day at Rockwall Youth Fair. This year 900 3rd graders from various Rockwall ISD schools will visit the Fair. Also, this year a new Consumer Science Food Show will be held. At the conclusion of the judging the Country Store will open and the public can buy the baked goods. The support of the community is the backbone of the ongoing legacy of Mr. Odis Lowe and we hope you will come out to the show and see a little bit of country life in our great city.

The location and schedule is:  875 Riding Club Road, Rockwall, TX 75087

April 7 – Awareness Day at Rockwall Youth Fair for local 3rd graders – 9:00am     Livestock Show begins – 5:00 pm

Tentative Show Order: Breeding Sheep, Market Lambs, Breeding Goats, Market Goats, Lamb Showmanship, Goat Showmanship, Breeding Rabbits, Market Rabbits, Broilers, Rabbit Showmanship

Consumer Science Food Show - 5:00 pm  County Store opens immediately following

April 8 - Livestock Show begins – 8:00 am

Tentative Show Order: Breeding Swine, Market Hogs, Breeding Beef, Market Steers.  Followed by Showmanship of Swine and Beef

BBQ Lunch – 11:30-Noon—Ticket price $10

Honoree Presentation and Market Sale  – 1:00 pm     

   

For more information, call 972-204-7660