The event is open to all tribally enrolled students within the Mvskoke Reservation
by Kaylea Berry
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s Youth Agriculture program’s 10th annual All-Indian Livestock Show is Jan. 27 – 29 at the Okfuskee County Fairgrounds in Okemah. The event is open to Native high school seniors and younger. As long as a child can show their animal without anyone helping them, they can participate. Mvskoke youth living anywhere in the state and any youth enrolled in other tribes living within the Mvskoke Reservation are invited to partake in the event.
The reservation includes Okmulgee, Muskogee, McIntosh, Hughes, Okfuskee, Creek, Tulsa, Wagoner, Mayes, Rogers, and Seminole counties.
Years ago, the show started out as a fun outlet for Native youth to show their animals and has continuously exceeded the program’s expectations. Last year exhibitors showed 570 livestock, which included 100 cattle, 306 hogs, 64 lambs, 69 doe goats and 31 market goats. Participants and attendees have expressed their gratitude over the years.
“I have people all the time, especially kids and their parents say, ‘Y’all’s livestock show is our favorite one to go to,’” said Muscogee (Creek) Nation Agriculture Youth Program Manager Billy Haltom.
This is a three-day event showcasing sheep and goats on Friday, market hogs on Saturday, and heifers and steers on Sunday. Each livestock category will be shown by breeds and/or weight groups. This year a judge from Missouri will be one of the sheep and goat judges and Ryan Rash, a well-known livestock judge from Texas, will be one of the hog judges.
This year contestants will not be the only ones who could walk away with a prize. Those in attendance could win door prizes including a handmade quilt and a Pendleton blanket signed by Chief David Hill. Contestants will also receive prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place as well as overall for each division. This show is considered a jackpot show because of all the prizes that are awarded. The entry fees are given back in entirety to the exhibitors as prize money.
“We’re not trying to make a profit,” Haltom said. “We’re there just for it to be an educational experience basically for these young people.”
Contestants can sign up ahead of time by filling out an entry form found on MCN Ag Youth Program’s Facebook page. Pre-entry forms can be sent by email to WHaltom@muscogeenation.com or dropped off at the office located at 1200 Prairie Bell Rd, Okmulgee, OK by Jan. 11, 2023. They can also be mailed to P.O. Box 580 Okmulgee, OK 74447 as long as they are postmarked by Jan. 11. Exhibitors who pre-enter will also receive a free t-shirt. Although, participants can enter the day of with the proper documents.
The All-Indian Livestock Show is free and open to the public. A concession stand with a variety of options will be available for purchase by cash. Attending an event like this is a great way to show support for the future generations of our land. The Okfuskee County Fairgrounds is located at 999 E Columbia St. Okemah, Okla.