Students Compete at Houston Livestock Show

Seniors Ashlyn Ellgass and Isabella Yoder stand at awards with coordinator Stephen Hindman. Both of them placed in the prepared speaking category of the contest.

Joshua Smith, Managing Editor of Entertainment and Editorials

On March 20, Lindale FFA competed at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This is the largest show that the students attend each year, and a few of the students placed in their respective events.

“We have a lot of students that show animals at the Houston Livestock Show every year,” FFA coordinator Stephen Hindman said. “This year in particular we took four goats, ten market swine, six market steers and eleven breeding heifers.

Making the sale at the Houston Livestock show is everyone’s goal, and given how hard it is, it is a dream come true for many”

— Stephen Hindman

When going to such a contest, there are a multitude of events that the students can participate in. In the show events, Brooklyn Gilleland and Bailey Gilleland made the showdf with their show goats.

“Making the sale at the Houston Livestock show is everyone’s goal,” Hindman said. “For instance, looking at the category of just the goats, there were 70 goats in that class, but only 10 of them make the show, which makes it a huge accomplishment.”

Not only does Lindale compete in the show events, but they also compete in prepared speaking events. The public speaking context at the Houston livestock show is the largest one in the world based on entries, with two students from Lindale placing in their events. Senior Ashlyn Ellgass placing third and received a $1,500 scholarship.

The competition is a six to eight minute memorized speech over a current topic pertaining to agriculture, and following the speech is a 5 minute questioning period,” Ellgass said. “I wrote my speech on how we judge food based on its aesthetic appearance.”

Not only did Ellgass place third in her event, but junior Belle Yoder placed 12th in the same division. This is Yoder’s first major contest in this event, so a lot of preparation went into the speech between not only herself, but also with other members of the team.

“Not only did I do well in my events, but I am also incredibly proud of Belle for how Belle [Yoder] did in the event as well,” Ellgass said. “Beforehand, her and I prepped and practiced for hours on end so that we were ready for any question that they asked us.”