- Associated Press - Saturday, January 21, 2017

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The nearly 2,000 kids and teens exhibiting animals at this year’s state livestock show will see far fewer small cash prizes awarded, but pay far less in entry fees.

Instead of paying up to $30 for each animal entered, each 4-H or FFA member will now pay a single $20 entry fee for the show Feb. 11-18.

“I had one young man call last week to ask what was up. Last year, he showed five animals. His entry fee was $150. This year it’s going to be 20 bucks. He was quite happy,” Dwayne Nunez, manager of the LSU AgCenter Livestock Show, said Wednesday.

Competitors average two or three entries each, he said. For a while, Nunez said, he thought the summer floods would cut the number of entrants. But he now expects numbers similar to last year’s, when 1,900 students showed 1,800 breeding animals, 1,300 market animals, 156 pens of broilers (with three birds each) and 800 individual exhibition chickens.

Nunez said the show will continue to give 82 sponsored cash prizes, ranging from $50 to $2,500.

Entry fees covered thousands of small prizes for finishing in the top three, five or 10 of a class of animals.

There are lots and lots of classes. For instance, there are scores just for different kinds and ages of cattle. And dairy and beef cattle are only two of the eight animal categories, along with breeding and market swine, sheep and goats; and exhibition and broiler poultry.

And the entry fee for each species had to be paid at a different time and place.

First prize in some classes was worth $30 or more, but most of the prize checks were for $5 to $15, Nunez said.

For each check written, the recipient’s Social Security number was needed. “We’re eliminating that security issue,” he said.

Class winners will still get ribbons for 1st through 10th place, and all others get participation ribbons, he said.

Birds and animals judged at district competitions to meet market, Industry, and breed standards qualify for the state show.

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