They have spent countless hours raising their pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, steers and heifers. Now it’s time for the payoff in recognition for their efforts and even some moo-la.

The 55th annual Somervell County Youth Fair and auction opens Jan. 13 at the Somervell County Expo Center. Youngsters will show their animals, display their food, clothing, craft and art exhibits and vie for blue ribbons. Judging begins on Friday, Jan. 14, and continues through Saturday, Jan. 15.

“These kids have worked hard over the past year with their projects and are eager to show off their accomplishments,” said Tony and Brenda Sharber, this year’s auction chairpersons. “Once again, they are asking for your support by attending the fair and auction.

“As a show of their appreciation they will buy your lunch and only ask that you register as a buyer, eat with them and go on over to the auction — that’s a free lunch, folks, and a few hours of your time.”

Larry Higgins, owner of Hammonds Bar-B-Que and one of the youth fair’s biggest supporters, again is providing lunch on the Saturday of the fair.

The judging schedule is as follows. Events take place in the Expo’s big arena unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, Jan. 13:

5 to 8 p.m. — Check in swine

goats and sheep.

Friday, Jan. 14:

8:30 a.m. —Swine judging

1 p.m. — Sheep judging

1:30 p.m. — Goat judging

Saturday, Jan. 15:

8 a.m. — Poultry, rabbit and dairy heifers judging

8:30 a.m. — Beef heifer judging

8:30 a.m. — Food and clothing judging begins in the Expo Center foyer

10 a.m. — Market steer judging

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Lunch served by Hammond’s Bar-B-Que

12:30 p.m. — Blue Ribbon Food Auction and awards presentation

2 p.m. — Livestock Premium Sale

This year’s officers for the Somervell County Youth Association are Charlie Campbell, president; Clark Cole, vice president; Brenda Sharber, secretary; and Sharon Williams, treasurer.

Those who can’t attend the fair but want to contribute can mail donations to the Youth Fair Buyer’s Pool at Somervell County Youth Fair Association, P.O. Box 893, Glen Rose, TX 76043 or go by the Somervell County Extension Office at 1405 Texas Drive behind the Expo. For more information, call the extension office at 897-2809.