For more than 80 years, the Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS) has been recognized as one of the premier youth livestock shows in the region. Part of ensuring the tradition continues is the development of young leaders who are not only equipped with the knowledge necessary to raise and show livestock but who are also able to confidently and accurately educate others and advocate for the industry.

New in 2016, KJLS will be offering exhibitors an opportunity to compete in the KJLS LEAD Challenge. The LEAD Challenge is an educational and advocacy event that provides an opportunity to learn about current industry issues, ranging from animal health and welfare issues to topics related to modern agricultural production, water, sustainability and more. Competition in the LEAD Challenge encourages KJLS exhibitors to develop not only the ability to show livestock but also to develop a more well-rounded knowledge of animal agriculture.

“A vibrant future for Kansas agriculture relies on strong industry leadership, and the young people in the show arena today will be industry leaders tomorrow. Livestock youth exhibitors develop livestock husbandry experience, as they raise and care for their livestock,” said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey. “The LEAD Challenge is a unique opportunity for Kansas youth to learn about some of the most challenging issues facing agriculture today, and we strongly encourage 2016 KJLS exhibitors to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Any youth exhibiting livestock in the KJLS is eligible to enter the LEAD Challenge. Exhibitors in the senior division will compete in showmanship and an interview competition and will take a written exam. Juniors will compete in showmanship and an interview competition. The awards ceremony will be held at the conclusion of beef showmanship on Sunday, Oct 2. Additional components will be introduced over the next two show seasons, with 2018 being the first year of the full KJLS LEAD Challenge.

Youth exhibitors interested in participating in the KJLS LEAD Challenge can register for the contest while completing their show entries online on the KJLS website, KJLS.org, or by calling the KJLS main office. The deadline for registering for the LEAD Challenge is Wednesday, Aug. 31.

For more information on the KJLS LEAD Challenge, please contact Betsy Anderson, rbkjls@gmail.com or 316-706-9750.

KDA Encourages Youth Participation in New KJLS LEAD Challenge