MYLE winners

The top five wether dam winners faced the cameras at the Minnesota Youth Livestock Expo in Fairmont, Minn. on July 9.

FAIRMONT, Minn. — Much like baseball’s spring training, the Minnesota Youth Livestock Expo (MYLE) is an interesting mixture of eager youth and experienced veterans. Livestock exhibitors hone their showmanship and grooming skills, preparing for the upcoming county fairs and the Big Show at the state fairgrounds in August.

This is the second year for the MYLE show. It is open to all Minnesota youth between the ages of 6-21 years old as of Jan. 1, 2021.

The Sheep show was held on July 8 and 9; the Meat Goat show on July 10 and 11; and a one-day Rabbit how on July 10. The Dairy Steer show and Market Beef/Prospect Calf Showmanship took place on July 9; the Cow/Calf, Prospect Calf and Market Beef shows and Heifer Showmanship followed on July 10; and the Breeding Heifer show was held on July 11. All of these contests took place at the Martin County fairgrounds in Fairmont, Minn.

The Swine show was held July 17-19 at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Jackson, Minn. Swine Showmanship was on July 17; the Breeding Gilt and Market Gilt shows were held on July 18; and the Market Barrow show on July 19.

I was in Fairmont on July 9 and sheep were everywhere. Small campsites were spread throughout the shadier spots of the fairgrounds and almost each one had a grooming platform with a less-than-enthusiastic lamb being clipped, combed and prepped for presentation in one of the two show rings.

Exhibitors were easy to spot, wearing bright purple t-shirts with large numbers pinned to the back. There was hustle and bustle, but no chaos as even the youngest exhibitors knew where to be and when to be there. Anxious parents did their best not to hover and busied themselves taking plenty of pictures. (Livestream recordings of the shows are available on Facebook’s Minnesota Youth Livestock Expo page for the champion events.)

There were a total of 1,425 entries from over 500 youth exhibitors at the Fairmont site; and nearly 200 youth participated with over 800 swine exhibits at the Jackson site.

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