Brazos County Youth Cattle Show continues through Saturday | Local News

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Thousands of hours of work culminate this week as FFA and 4-H students showcase their projects at the 66th Annual Brazos County Youth Livestock Show.

“They got up early in the morning, no matter how bad the weather, to take care of these animals. They’ve been out after sporting events, whatever else they’re involved in, and stayed out late at night tending to these animals. You can only imagine the effort these students put into it,” said Brazos County Youth Livestock Show President Frank Heifrin.

For some of the more than 320 participating students, it could mean up to a year of work for this week’s show at the Brazos County Expo. Over 800 entries are included.

The youth livestock show started on Wednesday with the rabbit, lamb and goat events and will run through Friday before the premium auction takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Heifrin said the show is also a chance for anyone to see the animals up close, talk to exhibitors, ask questions and better understand the work that goes into the projects and how farming affects their lives.

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“Just go out and find someone standing there and ask them questions,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for that.”

Through the work that exhibitors put into their projects, Heifrin said, he hopes they understand what it takes to complete a project, saying it’s something they can incorporate into any any profession, whether related to agriculture.

“I hope what these students take away is a good experience – a great experience – of feeling satisfied to have seen a project through to the end and to have understood the hard work it took to get to the end of the day,” he said. “And, second, whatever they do on the road, just remember the importance of agriculture and what it requires.”

Sara Anderson said there was a time when her son, Knox, 9, got discouraged raising his rabbits, but they talked about the importance of perseverance.

This is the first year that Knox, a member of the Brazos County Southwood 4-H Club, has been able to participate in the show and has chosen to start with rabbits.

He said he got up every morning to feed them, then had breakfast and went to school. He said it was a cool experience that taught him responsibility.

“He did very well,” said his father, David Anderson. “He was responsible and dedicated to those bunnies, and you could see the joy that brought him. Frustration at times, but he had a lot of fun doing it.

Sara Anderson said they had no experience with agricultural projects and did not expect to move into sales in their first year. She said there were lessons to be learned from not doing the selling as well; however, the Knox Bunnies continued to push through every round until they were part of the qualifying group for Saturday’s auction.

She said she was looking forward to helping other families and also watching her eldest son help his younger brother – a first year student – when he is old enough to show off his own bunnies.

She said she was grateful for the youth cattle show and hopes more people will take advantage of the opportunities it provides, saying she didn’t know until her son joined the 4-H club.

“I hope he walks away with some confidence that he took on a project and was successful, and that he really did it himself,” she said. “He wanted to do it; we didn’t force him to do it. He really took the initiative to make this happen.

Knox’s grandmother, Cathy Anderson, said it brought her joy to see her grandson so excited.

Heifrin said opportunities such as the Ag-you-cate program exist for students too young to join 4-H. Ag-you-cate is one of two programs taking place on Friday. The other is the Special Edition Livestock Show which will allow students with special needs from across the community to safely interact with animals with the help of a show buddy. The full schedule is available on bcyla.net.

“That’s really what the Brazos County Youth Livestock Association is all about, to educate and promote agriculture and make people aware of its importance in our society, and then reward the kids who spend the time – the countless hours – building projects. “, said Heifrin. .

Riley Stokes, queen of the show this year and a freshman at Rudder High School, said as an exhibitor the show is a chance to come together as a county and show off their hard work.

“For me, it doesn’t matter how I position myself; I really like being able to do that and show people what I’m doing in the farming community,” she said. “And then it’s just, it’s really fun. I always have fun when I’m here spending time with all my friends and family.

Stokes began showing rabbits when she joined 4-H in third grade and said she has since added steers, heifers, commercial heifers, and family and consumer science projects. All of the projects, she said, helped her learn time management and responsibility. Beyond taking care of her animals, she says, she has also become more outspoken and confident in herself.

“It kind of helped me really come out of my shell and be able to talk to people and stand up for the farming community and just be a better me,” Stokes said.

In her role as queen and exponent in high school, Stokes said she hopes young students who watch her see that they can do it too. As the queen, she is part of the whole show and said she liked learning about other projects she didn’t show.

Stokes’ father, Matt, who also serves as chairman of the board of the Brazos County Youth Livestock Association, said the new CTE facility and farm barn in the College Station School District will provide more opportunities for students.

After a record-high showing in 2021 with $900,000 raised at the premium auction, Heifrin said, they hope to top the $1 million mark this year. All the money collected is donated to the exhibitors.

“The community is what makes this possible,” he said. “A team is only as good as the players, but it usually only has as much momentum as the fans and the community will support it. We are lucky to be in a community that supports agriculture, but mainly supports the children.

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