Screven County kicked off its annual Livestock Festival Saturday with a parade.
Do you have a dog or cat? For farm folks, that's just the beginning. One Screven County farm family is showing off their year of hard work with their four-legged friends: cows, pigs, goats and more.
As a ninth grader, Whitney Sheppard has been showing animals for ten years. She spends hours every afternoon tending to cows and goats to keep them healthy and looking their best.
"You have to learn to take care of them," she told us. "You have to learn what to feed them. Then you just learn how they act and how they are."
She and the rest of Screven County kicked off their annual Livestock Festival Saturday with a parade. The festival includes three nights of animal shows where youngsters compete for honors and cash prizes. Whitney will compete along with her 6-year-old brother Wyatt, who's graduated from showing lambs to showing goats.
What's the best part of tending goats? "Feeding them," said Wyatt. "Cause they jump on you."
Not every child who raises animals like these will go into full-time agriculture, but the lessons are good, no matter what field you try.
"It is a great opportunity to learn about work ethic and see that it is not always about winning," said Ray Hicks with the Screven County Livestock Association. "It's seeing your friends win also."
"It teaches you a little more responsibility, because if you want the best animal, you have to tend to it the most," said Whitney.
And if more means better, Whitney's 1,500-pound cow could make her the most responsible girl around.
If you'd like to see the animals in person, the Livestock Festival shows this week are Tuesday night at 7pm, Wednesday night at 6pm, and Thursday night at 7pm at the Livestock Arena on Rocky Ford Road near Highway 301.