BY JOHN LEIDNER
EACH YEAR SINCE 1988, Sunbelt Ag Expo has
sponsored special activities for young farmers
and their families. The tradition continues this
year when the farm show hosts a barbeque
cooking contest, a horseshoe-pitching tournament, and a dinner with entertainment and
valuable door prizes.
All of these activities will take place on the
second day of the 2018 show, Wednesday,
In addition, the Georgia Young Farmers
Association will be sending a delegation of
officers to attend Tuesday’s Willie B. Withers
Luncheon, where the overall winner of this
year’s Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award will be
announced. The Georgia YFA state officers
will also hold their board meeting at Expo
The barbeque cooking starts early in the
day Wednesday, and continues throughout
most of the morning in an area west of the
exhibits and between the Expo farm shop and
the equipment staging area. This area is just
to the rear of blocks WC- 10 and WC- 11 in the
northwestern section of the exhibit grounds.
During the cooking, officers from the
Georgia YFA will be staffing a hospitality tent
where they will be serving snacks of fruit pies
and sausage to Expo visitors.
It’s expected that about 25 teams from
Young Farmer chapters will be competing in
this, the 27th annual ‘Que Fest. The teams
will be cooking five or six boneless pork
Young Farmer chapters competing in the
‘Que Fest are also eligible to enter a two-person team in the 24th annual horseshoe
pitching tournament that begins at 10 a.m.
Judging of the cooking sites will begin at
1 p.m. Wednesday, and judging of the barbeque pork will start at 1: 30 p.m. that day. The
barbeque is judged based on its appearance,
flavor, tenderness, and overall impression.
Judges this year will again include airmen from
Moody Air Force Base, along with the overall
winner of this year’s Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt
Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award.
As in previous years, cash prizes for the
‘Que Fest and horseshoe tournament winners
will be provided by Swisher International. Top
prizes are $1,200 for the first place ‘Que Fest
team and $500 for the top horseshoe team.
The annual Terrell Weeks Spirit of ‘Que
Fest award will be presented for the 16th
time to the Young Farmer chapter with the
best decorations at their cooking site. This
award is named for the late Terrell Weeks,
longtime executive secretary of the Georgia
Young Farmers Association.
After a long day at Expo, the Farm Credit
staff invites all Young Farmers and their families to relax and enjoy a great meal and great
entertainment during the Young Farmer Event.
As in previous years, the annual Young
Farmer Event will be held at the Maule Aircraft facility, starting at 5: 30 p.m. Wednesday.
Highlights will include announcement of the
winners for this year’s ‘Que Fest and the horse-
shoe pitching tournament.
Pork served during the dinner comes from
the meat cooked during the ‘Que Fest competition. The dinner for the young farmers
and their families will again be sponsored
by Stripling’s General Store, Farm Credit,
Reinke, Georgia Young Farmers Association,
and Sunbelt Ag Expo.
Talented Georgia 4-H Club members will
provide entertainment during the Young
Farmer Event; their performance is sponsored
by Farm Credit.
During the 2017 Sunbelt Expo, a Young
Farmer cooking team from Union County,
Ga., won the top place in the ‘Que Fest, and
a two-man team from Thomas County, Ga.,
won the horseshoe tournament. Young
Farmers from Houston County, Ga., won the
Terrell Weeks Spirit of ‘Que Fest award for
having the best cooking site decorations and
Houston County Young Farmers also won a
drawing for a new barbeque grill and smoker
built by employees of Hays Liquid Transport, Inc., Camilla, Ga. The top door prize of
$1,500 in cash was again sponsored by Kelley
Manufacturing Company, and was won by
Jeff Braswell, Donalsonville, Ga. Other major
door prizes during the Young Farmer Event
are sponsored by Titan/Goodyear and Kubota
The annual ‘Que Fest pork cook-off for
Young Farmer chapters is sponsored by
Swisher International, Farm Credit, and
Sunbelt Ag Expo.
Food and fun are Expo highlights for young farmers
The 2017 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Ag Expo
Farmer of the Year visits with Houston
County Young Farmer members about how
they prepare their BBQ for judging at the
annual ‘Que Fest at Sunbelt Ag Expo.