The first Callaway Youth Expo was off to a strong start Thursday, with youth participating in events ranging from livestock shows to playing disaster victims.
Board member Steve Rentschler said the number of youth signed up to show livestock - particularly goats and hogs - was up this year, although numbers in market beef and steers were a bit lower.
Matthew Schweiss, 14, of Fulton, a member of the Hardin Hustlers 4-H club said he and his sister are showing sheep and pigs again this year because, "it's just fun."
"You get to see a lot of other people, spend time on the farm and we can come here and show, and we can sell our animals in the auction too," Schweiss said.
Quincy Wiegand, 10, of Cairo, said she came to Callaway County's first youth expo because her father has connections with some of the event organizers, who were trying to draw as many participants as possible.
"It's fun and you get to meet a lot of good people," Wiegand said of showing livestock with 4-H. "I just think it's got good life lessons."
Pam Heimericks, youth development program associate for Callaway 4-H, said participation in the ham show is up this year as well with 83 youth entries and three open class entries.