The number of entries in this year’s Somervell County Youth Fair this year is up, according to Dwayne Johnson, this year’s Youth Fair president.

This year there are 428 entries, compared to 368 in 2019.

“What’s important is, the kids have been working on (their projects) almost a full year,” said Johnson, who is a county commissioner. “All these kids worked hard to get there they’re at.”

In addition to the animal and ag mechanics categories, competition is also staged in sewing, art, food and crafts.

Johnson said that the youngsters involved in the livestock portion of the annual event often get up very early each morning to feed and groom their animals before they go to school.

It’s not just a hobby. It’s a job,” Johnson said. “They enjoy it, and they learn responsibility.”

Johnson noted that the premium sale is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11.

“Each one gets to sell one animal. All the money goes straight to the kids,” Johnson said. “That’s the reward they get for their efforts all year.”

He added that anyone can donate to a “buyers pool” — or come to the sale — from $5 on up. That money will be used to give to the entrants whose animals may not bring a fair market value in the auction. Such donations are 100 percent tax deductible, Johnson said.

Also, three student competitors will receive scholarship money. Each of the three scholarship recipients last year took home $2,500, Johnson stated.

The annual SCYF lunch, which will be catered by Hammond’s Bar-B-Que, is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 9

The schedule of events is below. More details can be found online (somervellcountyyouthfair.com).

(No animals to arrive before 2 p.m.)

5 p.m. - 7 p.m. — Check-in for swine, goats, sheep, cattle (projects may be moved in, but official check-in is Friday 7 a.m.-9 a.m.)

Friday, Jan. 10

7- 9 a.m. Check-in Food, crafts, sewing, art and projects

8 a.m. — Pledge, National Anthem and prayer

Judging of swine

8 a.m.-8:45 a.m. — Check-in poultry and rabbits 

9 a.m. — Judging of poultry 

10 a.m.-1 p.m. — Judging of food, crafts, sewing, and art

10 a.m. — Judging of rabbits

Judging of projects 

11 a.m. — Judging of sheep 

2 p.m. — Judging of goats 

2 p.m. — Silent auction opens 

4 p.m. — Judging of cattle 

5 p.m. — Notify superintendents of livestock entries to be sold. Animals NOT in sale released 

Saturday, Jan. 11

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. — SCYF lunch - open to buyers, exhibitors, and family ($10 per person) 

Noon — Awards presentation and live food auction 

1:30 p.m. — Silent auction ends 

2 p.m. — Livestock Premium Sale. After premium sale all projects released.