The first Tarrant County Junior Livestock Show was held under the Jacksboro Highway Bridge on the Leonard’s Parking Lot (formerly Tandy Subway, now Panther Island Event center) in 1950. W. A. “Bill” King, director of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and a member of the North Fort Worth Kiwanis Club felt that the youth of Tarrant County needed a show in which all 4-H club members and vocational agricultural students (FFA) could display their projects. The Chamber and the Kiwanis were the original sponsors of the Tarrant County Junior Livestock Show.
In the early years, Ag Science Teachers, Extension Agents and the North Fort Worth Kiwanis Club conducted the show. Today, an elected board of directors consisting of members representing the three sponsoring organizations, the Fort Worth Farm and Ranch Club, Tarrant County 4-H Clubs and FFA Chapters govern and promote the Tarrant County Junior Livestock Show. Members from the Tarrant County Junior Livestock Association are appointed as Division Superintendents and Committee Chairs.
As the show grew, it was moved to the Will Rogers Complex and was extended from a one-day show to a three-day show. In 1979, a premium sale was added. In the mid 1990’s a scholarship program was added. A dinner and live auction is held every year in April to raise financial support for the scholarship fund.
Membership into the Tarrant County Junior Livestock Show Association is open to all persons interested in promoting and sponsoring the Tarrant County Junior Livestock Show, Youth Fair and related activities. The TCJLA is a non-profit organization.
Today, the Tarrant County Junior Livestock Show provides a showcase for 4-H and FFA youth participants to exhibit their livestock (cattle, goats, horse, lambs, poultry, rabbits sheep and swine) projects, and Youth Fair projects (horticulture, baked goods, leather craft, welding, photography, sewing, and creative arts).
The Junior Livestock Show and Youth Fair provide a positive learning experience for youth exhibitors to learn about teamwork, competition, task completion, responsibility, and sportsmanship.
Only those youth enrolled in Tarrant County 4-H Clubs and FFA Chapters are eligible to compete and exhibit their projects in the Tarrant County Junior Livestock Show and Youth Fair.
This event is free to the public and it is a wonderful opportunity for the community to see first hand how the 4-H and FFA organizations make a positive difference in the lives of our youth.