St. Martin youths win state ag awards
Two students from St. Martin Parish were among six exceptional Louisiana youths recognized at the 80th annual LSU AgCenter Livestock Show at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center here on Feb. 21 for their knowledge, skills and communication abilities.
This year’s top winners in the LSU AgCenter’s Gerry Lane Premier Exhibitor Program included St. Martin Parish 4-H Club members Jon Boudreaux, poultry premier exhibitor, and swine premier exhibitor Devin LeBlanc.
For the past 17 years the premier exhibitor program has recognized 4-H and FFA members who may not have champion animals but who have a thorough understanding of animal science.
“The awards are based on performance in tests of each youth’s knowledge of the livestock industry, practical exercises demonstrating skills and the ability to communicate effectively,” said Dwayne Nunez, LSU AgCenter livestock show manager.
Program participants have to pass an exam, take part in a “skill-a-thon,” write an essay, prepare a resume and show poise and confidence during an interview with livestock show officials, Nunez said.
The winning youths were among 30 finalists and many other contestants in the program, which recognizes outstanding livestock exhibitors in six categories – beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry, sheep, goats and swine.
Through an endowment from Gerry Lane Enterprises of Baton Rouge, the top winner in each premier exhibitor category received a $500 cash award, a commemorative belt buckle and a monogrammed jacket.
The other winners were: beef premier exhibitor Hannah Barrilleaux of Ascension Parish, dairy premier exhibitor Michael Landry of Assumption Parish, goat premier exhibitor Sarah Lyons of Cameron Parish, and sheep premier exhibitor Avery Boudreaux of Iberia Parish.