FFA represents at Katy Livestock Show

Senior wins Grand Champion Steer

Emily Burleson, News Editor

Future Farmers of America students auctioned and sold their animal projects at the Katy Livestock Show and Rodeo Feb. 19 through 22.

Nearly all Katy ISD FFA students participate in the livestock show by buying and raising an animal in the Katy ISD barns.

Students raised and sold steers, rabbits, chickens, goats, lambs and pigs for the Livestock Show.

“That’s kind of the goal, to get your project into the auction,” FFA advisor and Floral Design teacher Angela Snowden said. “So the judge determines which animals get placed in the premium, or live, auction. All of the rest of them go into something called the barn sale, and they’re purchased by members of the community.”

Senior Tristan Chapa won Grand Champion Steer, the highest award that can be given for an individual animal. Chapa has been involved in the FFA program for four years and has raised cattle and pigs for livestock shows in Houston, Fort Worth, Fort Bend and San Angelo, among other smaller sales.

“It was overwhelming,” Chapa said. “As soon as I got out, I was in tears, hugging, talking to my Ag teacher. It was a really big experience with all my friends and family all being there too, it was really exciting. That was probably the best experience I’ve ever felt. For Katy that was a really big deal because it’s all the Katy ISD schools combined together to show.”

Freshman Brandon Homan received Reserve, or Second Place, Champion for his pig, and junior Hannah Guthrie won the title for Reserve Champion Showmanship for hers.

“What sets this young lady apart is that showmanship is a show of how well you are showing your animal,” Snowden said. “To get an award that high, over the entire district, is a really nice honor. She showed her animal that well, she earned 2nd place out of all the pigs that were there that day, and there were a lot pigs.”

Despite a small buying audience in comparison to larger shows like Houston and Fort Worth, receiving a title in Katy is considered a high honor by students and advisors in the FFA program because of the hundreds of other animals, or projects, each student competes against.

“When you put in all the time and you actually calculate, okay, I worked at the barn three hours today, I make minimum wage, $7.25, it adds up to where it’s just nothing, no profit,” Chapa said. “The experience that you get from it, you know, everything that you do, it’s pretty much just priceless.”