Imagine working for weeks without a day off. Sounds tough, but that's exactly what it's like to be a West Texas farmer. Local high school students are getting a taste of what the real world of farming is like by raising livestock for the show ring.
You may remember that the Monterey-Coronado ag barn burned completely just over a year ago. But, students have come a long way since then. With a better building and high hopes Monterey and Coronado went head to head in a barnyard battle at their annual livestock show. For these pigs it's time to relax. While their barnyard buddies enter the show ring to strut their stuff for the judge.
"This is a practice show for all the kids to get out and get their animals ready and learn how to exhibit them," says Monterey Ag Teacher Roger Green.
For students like Chelsea Spitzer and Dustin Brewster, showing livestock is more than just earning credit for another class. "I have a goat, a pig, and a rabbit. I've been showing pigs since I was in 8th grade," says high school student Chelsea Spitzer.
"It's real competitive. It's a lot of work. You have to come up here and run them," says high school student Dustin Brewster.
Their ag class is more like a seven day a week job. "They learn a lot of responsibility because they start doing this in September some of them in August. They learn that there's an animal in the pen and of they don't take care of it then it doesn't get any feed or water," says Green.
Those long hours of hard work not only pay off in the show ring but in the classroom. "They're graded on how well they take care of them, how responsible they were if they got out of bed and did what they were suppose to one Sunday afternoon and Saturday mornings," says Green.
Now students will prepare for the county and Houston livestock shows. Chelsea and Dustin are well on their way for both competitions. Chelsea's rabbit got third place and Dustin in his first year to show won first place with his goat. Congratulations to them and all the students who participated.