How to Enter Your Livestock in the 2019 Louisiana State Fair

One of the best things about going to the Louisiana State Fair is touring the stables and checking out the farm animals. Since 1906, the State Fair has promoted livestock and agriculture among Louisianians. With over 4,500 animals entered annually, the livestock competition is Louisiana’s largest livestock show.

The Louisiana State Fair has an estimated $24 million economic impact on the state and draws 50,000 visitors. This year, the 112th annual State Fair will be held at the Shreveport Fairgrounds from October 25th through November 11th. But you’ll have to make preparations significantly earlier if you want your livestock to have a shot at a state fair championship title. The Louisiana State Fair has competitions for cattle, swine, goats, poultry, and lambs, as well as a new competition for Louisiana-bred steer.

In addition to providing owners and breeders with serious bragging rights, champion animals may demand a higher sale price. The Junior Livestock Division is open to students who are members of a 4-H or FFA club and have not yet graduated high school (or are 2019 graduates). If you’re a year or more past high school, you must compete in the General Division.

Junior Livestock Competitions for Youngsters

FFA and 4-H members may enter rabbits, chickens, cattle, goats, sheep, and swine in the Louisiana State Fair livestock competitions. Livestock may be entered as either market or breeding stock. Additionally, young farmers raising layer hens, may enter eggs in the no-fee youth egg show. Finally, the showmanship contest requires a separate application.

Keep in mind, you can only enter an animal that you own, and the deadline for online entries is September 7, 2019. Entry fees are lowest before September 7, and steadily climb as the fair dates grow closer. The entry application form is available online.

If you are entering a breeding animal, you must specify the animal’s name, sex, registry number, and breed to be eligible to compete. You will have to reapply if your application is incomplete (including fees).

Since you can only enter a single animal in one premium competition, you’ll have to choose between entry as a market animal or a breeder.

The size of your animal’s class doesn’t guarantee a champion designation. Judges operate on an objective set of rules and award titles in accordance with the merits of the actual animal being exhibited. This means your lamb may be the only one in its class and still win third place.

Prize-winning animals may be eligible to participate in the annual Sale of Champions auction. Complete rules are here.

Info about General Livestock Competitions

Louisiana State Fair livestock competitions are open to cattle, goats, swine, and poultry.

Per eligibility rules, there are restrictions as to how you can alter your animals. You may trim their fur, hair and hooves.

You may not:

  • Inject your animal with anything
  • Subject your animal to surgery or procedures that would change the shape of its body
  • Dye or color your animal’s fur or hair

With your application, you’ll need to send in fur or hair samples with intact roots for DNA testing. Instructions on how to retrieve these samples, as well as how to obtain necessary ear tags, are here.

This year, the State Fair is introducing a Louisiana-bred steer competition. Specific contest rules include requiring the owner of the steer to be in possession of the steer’s mother. If the dam dies, State Fair management must be notified within 24 hours for the competing steer to remain eligible.

Protect Your Investment

You’ve dedicated an enormous amount and time and effort to painstakingly raise a prize-winning animal. Now, you need to protect your investment and safeguard all that hard work. Life is unpredictable. Sometimes, even well cared-for animals get sick, and we live in an area prone to extreme weather events. Talk to a Farm Bureau agent today about livestock insurance and special policy riders for high-value animals.