Jordan Rhodes with her lamb “Baily” that will show at the Angelina County Fair on Thursday, March 26 at the George H. Henderson Expo in Lufkin.

Jordan Rhodes is the 17-year-old daughter of Tiffany and Mo Oliver of Hudson. She has one younger sister, Brooke. And this will be Jordan’s first year to show a lamb in the Angelina County Fair, just a few weeks away.

As a member of Hudson FFA, Jordan has entered the Angelina County Fair for the past three years. The first couple of projects were rather difficult. Jordan raised a steer that proved to be too much to handle, followed by heifer she purchased with funds from the Houston Livestock Show calf scramble that broke her hip and then was unable to show. Last year, Jordan did enter a wooden toy box that she made at home in the Arts and Crafts division. Today, that homemade box is in the family living room where her mom uses it to store blankets.

This year, Jordan is raising a lamb. She says, “I wanted a livestock project I could show. Since everything comes out of my own pocket, I chose a lamb project.” Jordan used some of the money from the sale of the heifer plus her regular income from her job as a carhop at Sonic. She figured she could use her funds to fully finance this year’s project. “I bought the lamb, buy the feed and other supplies. It’s much cheaper than raising a heifer.”

Jordan says the best part of showing a lamb is the experiences she’s had meeting new people at the smaller shows in which she has competed. She also enjoys the responsibility of getting up early to feed and seeing the results of all the hard work that she’s put into her lamb project.

Jordan’s mom, Tiffany, says, “Seeing the work ethic she has developed to not only raise the animal but work to fund her project makes me so proud. Not many kids can say they do it all by themselves. This project is teaching her invaluable life lessons.”

Jordan also adds, “It is so cool to see a livestock project grow up. My lamb didn’t really like me at first and now he follows me around the pen. We work well together now, and I can show him well.”

Raising a livestock project is not without its difficulties, “You don’t always place like you want to in the show arena.” She adds, “It’s like taking care of a child at times! You protect it from getting injured and you are responsible for its feeding and everything it comes in contact with!”

She bought her wether lamb, named Baily, at the very beginning of the school year, September 1, from a breeder in Shepherd, Tx. Baily currently weighs 164 lbs. and Jordan hopes he’ll reach 170 lbs. by the County Fair.

Sponsored by Kirk and Donna Mathis, the Market Lamb division has 27 lambs entered. With 27 entries, there will be 19 lambs making it to the auction on Saturday night.

Judging of lambs, like the other market animals, focuses on the market readiness of the entry. The judge will place a tremendous emphasis on two main areas: muscling and condition. With sheep, the exhibitors will “brace” them so that the muscles flex, showing more expression of muscle.

This year’s lamb show at the Angelina County Fair will be on Thursday morning, March 26 at the George H. Henderson Expo. The entire County Fair is from Tuesday, March 23 thru Saturday, March 28, concluding with the sale on Saturday evening. The lamb show begins immediately after the meat goat show.

Jordan says she would tell others, “It’s a lot more work than it looks like, but the benefits outweigh the work you put in. You really get to understand that ‘I’ made this happen.”

You can watch Jordan show at our County Fair, you can see her working at the Sonic on West Frank Street (and give her a good tip!), and you can support her at the auction on, Saturday, March 28 starting at 4 pm. For more information about this year’s Angelina County Fair, go to www.angelinacountyfair.com.

Author

Cary Sims
Cary Sims
Cary Sims is the County Extension Agent for agriculture and natural resources for Angelina County. His email address is cw-sims@tamu.edu

Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.