Did you know that youth have a chance to attend the State Cattlemen’s Convention near our county?

I call it a mini state fair along Interstate 40, Exit 125. Small expense on travel costs and no hotel costs make this an event not to be missed!

The youth events will begin on Saturday morning, Feb. 24, at the Hickory Metro Convention Center. The convention center is visible from I-40, just east of Exit 125 and is accessible from U.S. 70.

Cattlemen all over the state will be gathered for meetings this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Saturday morning, all youth are invited to attend from 9 a.m. to noon. The showroom will have a lot of new equipment there. Booths, competitive quizzes and equipment demonstrations will all be held under one roof. Attendees will get to see a cow being milked, observe how drones are used around cattle and in pastures, and learn how farmers use artificial insemination to breed cows. Hands-on activities include getting a chance to practice the correct use of an insemination gun in the repro tract of an artificial cow, putting together the ruminant digestive tract of a model cow, and playing with temporary fencing equipment that assists cattlemen in movement and control of cattle. A lot of fun things to see and do.

The cost is only $5 per youth, but if you mention the name of this paper (The McDowell News) to the ticket sales person, each youth with you will receive free pass into the showroom. The cost for adults on Saturday is $10 per person.

If you are interested in cattle, this is a great place to learn some of the latest information cattlemen are using to manage cattle. The annual N.C. Dairy Conference has a social and supper Thursday evening. Everyone is welcome to attend the whole day on Friday, starting at 8:45 a.m. Cattlemen’s educational programs go from 9 a.m. till noon. Some very interesting topics offered include: best weaning techniques, power of one temporary fence wire, forage management, and herd health and immunity. After lunch on Friday many business meetings occur. In the evening, the Catawba Valley Cattlemen’s Association cooks and serves their famous barbeque meal. Youth are welcome to assist in table decorations and may help in serving cattlemen as they come through the line.

On Saturday at 7:30 a.m., a Youth Recognition Breakfast is held, sponsored by Farm Credit. Then (as mentioned above) on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, we have many family-oriented learning booths with many hands-on experiences for youth and children.

If one attends only the Saturday events, adult tickets are $10 and youth tickets are $5. If you attend only Friday morning’s educational programs, the cost is $25. None of these tickets include meals. For the Friday and Saturday events, including all meals the cost is $85 (pre-registered) or $100 at the door. It’s a chance of a lifetime with no hotel costs, short travel time and low travel costs. For pre-registration and information go to www.nccattle.com, call the McDowell Extension Office 828-652-8101,or email adam_lawing@ncsu.edu.

Remember when purchasing your tickets, if you mention that you saw this information in this paper, your youth will get a FREE pass to the Saturday morning events!