Cal Poly’s Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show to Celebrate 36 Years Feb. 14-16

More than 100 Cal Poly Students Will Host the Show at the Paso Robles Event Center 

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show — the largest student-run exhibition of its kind on the West Coast — will be held Feb. 14-16 at the Paso Robles Event Center.

More than 100 Cal Poly students of varying majors, including a management team of 30 students, from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences are involved in the planning, marketing and operations of Western Bonanza. The event is free to the public.

As one of the most competitive jackpot shows in the country, Western Bonanza attracts thousands of exhibitors from six states. In 2019, the student-run event attracted more than 750 exhibitors and 5,000 cattle, swine, sheep and goats entries. 

The Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show started as a senior project in 1985 and the legacy has grown into a jackpot show recognized across the country. With different experiences ranging from marketing and livestock husbandry to facilities and hospitality, students receive a well-rounded education preparing them for whatever career they choose to pursue, agricultural communication senior Chloe Fowler said.

“Western Bonanza is a show that gives students who are interested in the fair and show industry a first-hand experience,” said Fowler, who is serving as the marketing manager. 

Exhibitors, ranging in age from 9 to 21, travel from dozens of California counties and other states — including Arizona, Iowa, Nevada and Washington — to show their animals in four categories: beef, swine, sheep and goats. Judges from throughout the nation determine the best animals by analyzing their movement, body condition, bone structure and breed characteristics.

In addition to the elite jackpot show that awards cash prizes to top placing exhibitors, a tradeshow featuring Western gear, livestock feed vendors, and jewelry will run concurrently. Food vendors will also be available throughout the show.

For more information about Cal Poly’s Western Bonanza and a full show schedule, visit Find “Cal Poly’s Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show” on Facebook and on Instagram at @WesternBonanza for up-to-date news during the show weekend. For more information, call the Western Bonanza office at 805-756-2180 or email

About Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, comprehensive polytechnic university. The university’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences ( is comprised of expert faculty members who take pride in their ability to transform academically motivated students into innovative professionals ready to solve the complex challenges associated with feeding the world in sustainable ways. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories, including ranchland, orchards, vineyards and forests, all of which provide the basis for Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology. It is the fifth-largest college of agriculture in the country, with 4,000 undergraduate students.

Contact: AnnMarie Cornejo

February 12, 2020

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