It was begun by a small group of cattle breeders, 4-H leaders and parents but has now grown into major event for young beef exhibitors.

The 32nd annual Sierra Winter Classic Beef Show will be held this weekend at the Porterville Fairgrounds.

The genesis of the show which began in 1989 has now become a traditional event that’s held every Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday weekend. The show is now host to 200 youth who show more than 300 cattle and their family members.

Youth who show their cattle and their families come from all over the state and several come from out of state, so the show also provides a sizeable economic benefit for Porterville.

The Sierra Winter Classic is put on by the Porterville Jr. Fair Board comprised of 15 4-H and FFA programs. Jr. Fair Board youth run the show with the help of adults. 

“There’s  a lot of moving pieces to put together a show,” Porterville Fair general manager Susie Godfrey said.

Youth who show cattle compete for prizes and money. Prizes include buckles and jackets for the Champion Heifer and Champion Prospect and Progress Steers, jackets for Showmanship winners, framed photos for Breed Champions and multiple class prizes. Also in this year’s show will be the  overall Supreme Steer Champion.

Many local business, cattle breeders and individuals make the show possible with their help and sponsorship. Many vendors will also be at the show this weekend.

The Sierra Winter Classic is part of the Jackpot season in which those who exhibit cattle compete at shows for prizes and money. Those who show this weekend will have a chance to earn points to earn year-end prizes as part of the California Junior Livestock Association which will have shows throughout the year. The Sierra Winter Classic is the first CJLA show of the new year.

Those showing this weekend will have two chances to earn points. Two shows featuring steers will be held on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. and two shows featuring heifers will be held on Sunday. The steer and heifer Showmanship Shootout will begin at 8:30 a.m. Sunday.


A come as you are deep pit dinner provided by Cowpunchers Cafe and Catering will also be held on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. and costs $12.

Late entries will still be accepted through Saturday. A $25 per head late fee will be charged. Cash only will be accepted for entries received upon arrival.

The show is open to the public and admission is free.

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