FFA Competes At Houston Livestock Show Event

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Students show off their cows at the Houston livestock show.

Christian Wynne, Staff Writer

FFA competed in the Houston Livestock show and Rodeo March 7-18. They will also compete for FFA Career Development Events May 20 to qualify for a state level competition. 

While I am immensely proud of the students who made the sale and received accolades, the hard work really happens over the weeks and months leading up to Houston,” FFA sponsor Dylan Bacon said. “All of our Houston exhibitors put in countless hard hours preparing, practicing, improving, and learning. Some received material rewards, while others received experience only, but that does not diminish the effort and tenacity our students demonstrated.”

The competition is a mixture of animal shows such as goats, heifers, steers, and pigs. They compete in essay competitions such as breed essay, year-end essay, as well as a public speaking competition. 

“Making sale with my pig was probably one of the greatest experiences of my life,” senior Nathalie Kramer said. “It felt so good to have all my work from the past four years finally pay off.” 

Senior Brooklyn Gilleland was 10th in her class of market goats and made the sale for her goat and pig. Gilleland also showed a calf scramble steer, where she won 2nd Place Supreme Scrambler, 1st Place Year End Essay, 3rd Place Showmanship, and 4th Place Breed Essay. 

“I had an absolute blast exhibiting my livestock at the Houston show and rodeo,” Gilleland said. “I have learned so much through this competition and I am so excited to learn even more.”

In the Houston Calf Scramble, a competition where participants must tackle mobile calves to claim them, freshman Isabelle Koonce, freshman Keegan Blackburn, and sophomore Luke Tomlinson all caught calves. Koonce placed 6th and sophomore Blake Moss placed 3rd in the scramble. 

“Being a part of the calf scramble was one of the most fun and challenging things I’ve done,” Koonce said. “They make a big deal of it and catching was an experience.”

Kramer placed 8th in her market swine class and made the sale. Senior Caleb Riches was 9th in his steer class and made the sale. Junior Jacqueline Rand made the top 20 finals in the Public Speaking contest out of almost 300 contestants. 

“When it was announced that I had advanced to finals, I was so excited to compete alongside the top 20 speakers,” Rand said. “Throughout my experience, I have made many friends from across Texas, so the best part of the weekend for me was getting to catch up with them all.”