Show Down in the Foothills draws kids and cattle from all over

May 3—CALDWELL COUNTY — The Fourth Annual Show Down in the Foothills was held Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28, at the Caldwell County fair grounds. The event serves as an opportunity for youth to showcase their cattle projects and showmanship, to network with others in the field and for the industry to see its future coming into its own.

Show Down in the Foothills is held annually, and attracts a wide-ranging pool of participants. This year, youth as young as 3 and as old as 21 from North and South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida flocked to the event to show off their skills and cattle projects. This year featured around 100 kids and 200 head of cattle, according to organizer Anna Munday. Organizers for the event also host an annual clinic to help youth refine their showmanship skills for the competition, which took place at 8 a.m. on April 27. The event draws sponsors and vendors from across the industry.

The event held both open —for both adult and youth participants — and junior shows covering both market stock and breeding stock, both heifers and bulls of a variety of different breeds. Livestock was judged on breeding, walking, behavior and build — the standards of high-quality breeding livestock. The youth were judged on their showmanship, their husbandry and their ability to work alongside the animal as a team. Judges include Taylor Langford, livestock judging coach with the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and Patrick Gunn, a nutritionist with Purina. Many of the youth participating in the shows are also involved in 4-h, which works alongside children to develop skills in agriculture such as home feeding and halter breaking.

Aside from being a space to test themselves, to demonstrate what they've been working toward, Show Down in the Foothills also provides its young participants with opportunities for scholarships and real-world experience, according to Munday.

"It's about more than just cattle," Munday said. "It's connecting to another living being...It's bigger than just a show. It's an avenue to grow young people into active adult leaders and volunteers in the community."

Show Down in the Foothills will be hosting an additional show for sheep in goats on June 22. Results for the April competition can be found at showman.app/shows#/show-down-in-the-foothills.