Kilgore FFA has been “fast and furious” since the start of the school year.
Students began showing their project animals at the Texas State Fair in September in Dallas and have continued through the Harvest Festival in Longview, multiple practice shows and now are getting ready for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the local Kilgore FFA project show and sale this month.
Through the program, some students have also taken part in showmanship clinics to help them prepare for the various shows at which they will be presenting their animals.
Participation in this year’s Kilgore FFA project show is up from last year, ag teacher Kristin Pieper said, noting the increase in younger students in the program.
The increase in younger students also means helping them understand the process of feeding, training and exercising their animals.
Although the Kilgore High School FFA program is established, the project show March 24 will be only the second to include Junior FFA students from Kilgore Middle School. The purpose of Junior FFA is to get students involved sooner.
KMS students can grow up in the program and that also gives Pieper time to get parents and families involved.
“I’ve got a lot of parent participation this year helping do things and a lot of interest,” she said. “I think it’s cool getting to see those younger kids start out young and by the time they get to be seniors, they know the process of everything. They know how everything kind-of works.”
This year’s project show will begin at 8:30 a.m. March 24 with poultry and will continue with pigs, goats, lambs, steer and heifers. Rabbits will be judged in another area beginning at 9 a.m. and ag mechanics will be in a third area with judging beginning at 9 a.m. also.
Dinner will be at 5 p.m. at the ag farm with the auction beginning at 6 p.m. All the events will take place at the Leon Gibson Memorial Ag Farm.
This year’s project show dinner menu will be different from previous years with hamburgers from The Butcher Shop in Longview – plus chips and a drink – instead of barbecue.
Before the Kilgore show, though, some students will be participating in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo taking their heifers, steer, chickens, pigs and ag mechanics projects to the major show.
“Got a whole slew of different animals going at different points in times at Houston, and then we roll right back in to the Kilgore show as soon as we get back from Houston,” Pieper said. “Once the project show is done, we can kind of breathe a little bit.”