Two hundred sixteen 4-H and FFA youth are beginning the final weeks of their preparation for the 82nd Annual Douglas County Lamb Show scheduled for June 5 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Typically this event is a full day of lamb weigh in and record book checks, finishing touch up’s on lamb appearance, market class judging, showmanship classes, the champion drive and then off to the Douglas County Lamb BBQ, and then finally the Rotary Youth Livestock Auction — from 6 a.m. to midnight the fairgrounds is hopping busy.

Historically partners from the Douglas County Livestock Association, the Spinners and Weavers Guild, Rotary and local businesses and community members “flock” to the fairgrounds for a full day of spectator exhibits as well as the youth shows.

I say legacy because many of the youth showing this year are children of the volunteers working to ensure that the tradition can continue. Thirty years ago was my final tour of the lamb show pen as a graduating senior and now I have the honor and privilege to coordinate and plan this iconic community event for our 4-H and FFA youth today.

For many of the yonder year you will notice some of the traditional pieces of this Lamb Show will be paused due to COVID restrictions.

Youth participation in positive youth development programs is more important than ever before. The youth raising their market lambs are some of the politest, hardest working kids you will ever find.

In the coming weeks you will begin seeing signage going up about the lamb show, advertisements and even in person and written invitations from 4-H and FFA youth inviting you to attend the Live/Simulcast event for buyers to have the choice of either being in person or bidding online. I-5 Auctions and the noon rotary provide the auction component.

Information on how to support youth at the auction can be obtained by visiting the following website:

The portion of the lamb show that I have always enjoyed the most is seeing everyone mix and mingle, visiting with old friends, and making new acquaintances over a delicious barbecue lamb dinner. This year has brought many changes and I think that most of us can agree we miss seeing folks smile, nod and exchanging a hug and a handshake.

Through all of these changes and new expectations, we also acknowledge that the youth are continuing their 4-H and FFA project work and have been diligent in providing a finished and ready to market lamb project.

We, the show and event organizers, are very excited for the youth to get to show in person this year. We are much more fortunate to have this opportunity than we were one year ago. As the show date draws nearer ,we wish all of the young showman good luck in their endeavors in the show ring this year and encourage community members to take the time to follow along on the show’s progress by visiting for the most current news and information.

For those who have attended the lamb barbecue and enjoyed the varied exhibits in the past, we look forward to seeing you all in person in 2022.

You can find more information about the local Douglas County 4-H program and upcoming events at

Laurie Michaels is the 4-H Education Program Assistant for OSU Extension Service of Douglas County. If you have questions regarding this article, contact Laurie at 541-236-3042 or send email to

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