The 8th Annual Legislative Livestock Showdown took place at the New South Arena in Perry, Georgia, as part of the Georgia National Fair. The highly competitive livestock showmanship event, co-sponsored by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia National fair, resulted in a fourth consecutive win for the Georgia House of Representatives.
“This is a unique opportunity for our state leaders and our future agri-leaders to get to know one another and have some fun, all while illustrating the importance of positive youth development programs like 4-H and FFA,” said Gary W. Black, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner. “We appreciate our legislators for being such great sports and hope they were able to walk away with a better understanding of all the time, care and effort that our exhibitors put into their projects.”
Members of the Georgia General Assembly divided into two teams, the House team and the Senate team, to compete in showing breeding gilts. The Senate team was led by Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Chairman John Wilkinson and included Senator Matt Brass, Melody DeBussey, Senator Chuck Payne, Senator Greg Kirk and Senator Larry Walker, III. The House team was led by House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Chairman Tom McCall and included Representative Katie Dempsey, Representative David Knight, Representative Karen Mathiak, Representative Valencia Stovall and Representative Bob Trammell.
The legislators were partnered with highly experienced 4-H and FFA students who taught them the proper animal handling techniques and show ring etiquette needed to win first prize. Competitors spent one-on-one time working with their student coaches who taught them the basics of showmanship. Professional livestock judge Brandon Yatis from Illinois evaluated how well each competitor displayed their animal in the show ring and scored each contestant accordingly.
Senator Greg Kirk placed first for his skilled showmanship of his pig, but it wasn’t quite enough to bring home the win for the Senate, as the House members placing high enough to accrue 22 points versus 17 points for the Senate. The House will once again have the honor to display the coveted trophy in Atlanta with their respective leadership. Each year the teams show different breeds of animals including sheep, goats, beef and dairy cattle.