The Junior Livestock Society was organized in 1930 and for many years assisted with the Detroit Junior Livestock Show and later on sponsored the Junior Livestock Show held in Howell, Michigan. During the mid 1970’s the Michigan Junior Beef Breeders Association was also organized for the purpose of sponsoring an All-Breed Heifer Show in the early summer. In 1984, the two above mentioned organizations were merged into the Michigan Junior Livestock Society with the purpose of organizing and sponsoring both a summer and winter show. A beef cattle committee of the society was then organized; composed of one adult and one junior member representing each Michigan beef breed association, and three at-large delegates representing the interests of commercial cattle producers and club calf producers. In 1987, a sheep committee was organized to sponsor a market lamb and breeding sheep show in the summer.
The first annual Michigan Winter Beef Show was held in 1983 on the second Saturday and Sunday in December at Michigan State University’s PWA Livestock Judging Pavilion. Staff who were actively involved in the coordination of the first show included: Ken Geuns, Quentin Harwood, Howard King, Amos Fox, John Warvel, Ron & Jill MacNaughton, and Chuck Salt. The PWA Livestock Judging Pavilion stood north of the Engineering Building and south of the International Center on Shaw Lane until it was torn down in 1997. A new facility, the Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education (MSU PAV), opened in 1996 at the corner of Mt. Hope and Farm Lane of Michigan State University’s campus. The Winter Beef Show moved to the MSU PAV in December 1996. Since that time, the show was re-named to the Michigan Winter Classic and continues to be at the MSU PAV each year in December.
The Michigan Junior Livestock All-Breed Beef and Sheep Preview Shows were held each year on the third Saturday of June at the Ionia County Fairgrounds. The first All Breeds Sheep Show was initiated in 1987 with the help of Doyle & Renee Dingman. Both shows moved to the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds during the mid-1990’s. The All-Breeds Sheep Show then moved to the MSU PAV in June 1997. The All-Breeds Beef Show moved to the Calhoun County Fairgrounds, commenced for a few years, and then disbanded. The annual summer sheep show was re-named to the Michigan Sheep Spectacular and again in 2011 to the Summer Spectacular. For the first time, MJLS hosted a meat goat show in conjunction with the sheep and lamb shows. The Summer Spectacular continues to be during June at the MSU PAV.