Annual Oklahoma Youth Expo livestock show kicks off Friday in Oklahoma City at State Fair Park

More than 7,000 youth — and twice as many animals — are expected at State Fair Park for 97th annual Oklahoma Youth Expo, which runs through March 19.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Published: March 6, 2012
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Students from each corner of the state will converge in Oklahoma City for the 97th annual Oklahoma Youth Expo, which kicks off Friday and runs through March 19 at State Fair Park.

With livestock and families in tow, 7,000 youth aged 9 to 18 are expected to compete this year for scholarships and cash prizes in eight livestock divisions, culminating in the Sale of Champions at 4 p.m. March 19 at State Fair Arena.

Tyler Norvell, executive director of the Oklahoma Youth Expo, said the entire event is open to the public, but several events are specifically geared to observers. Among them are an agriculture trade show, which runs throughout the event, and a Legislative Show featuring state lawmakers working livestock with constituents from their districts.

The Legislative Show is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. March 14 at the Super Barn Arena, but the entire expo is worth checking out even for folks who don't have children participating in the event, Norvell said.

“It's pretty amazing to see a 9-year-old girl lead a 1,300-pound steer in the ring,” he said.

The expo is the state championship for Oklahoma's agriculture families, Norvell said, and is a tradition that runs deep in both rural and urban communities across the state.