Students Compete at Annual FFA Show

After+five+months+of+hard+work%2C+senior+Abbie+McElroy+recieves+her+award+for+goat+showmanship+at+the+annual+FFA+show.

Zoe Spangler

After five months of hard work, senior Abbie McElroy recieves her award for goat showmanship at the annual FFA show.

Samantha Nodine and Zoe Spangler

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After working tirelessly since October, FFA students stepped into the spotlight to compete in the annual Klein ISD FFA competition and show off their love for agriculture. As these young students started their day on Feb. 8, they filled the room with farming machinery, farm animals, and plants that they had put their heart and soul into for the past five months. During the show, Klein Multipurpose Center served as a temporary stage where the spotlight shone on FFA students. 

Before this day comes, students prepare to show their hard work to the judges by learning the techniques to raise animals and plants successfully. Freshman Reven Brummond, who was awarded Horticulture and Breeding Rabbit Grand Champion and Reserve Champion for Breeding Rabbits and Goats, has spent her life around agriculture and fell in love with it at a young age.

“I started raising chickens when I was six with silkies,” Brummond said. “Those are the big fluffball chickens. Then we went from that and got fainting goats and just kind of branched out. So, we have show goats now, show lambs, show pigs, and show cows and all that. It’s just a very busy life.”

The students who raise animals start their work in the fall and work to make their animals strong and healthy for the competition every February. 

“We got our animals in the beginning of October,” Brummond said. “Every animal is different for how you raise them. With breeding chickens, you put them in the pen and feed them and give them water, and whenever it comes time to show them, you clean them. With goats, you have to use a certain amount of feed, and a certain amount of supplements depending on if you want to feed them supplements.”

The FFA students who raise goats have to make sure the goats get enough exercise, even in a high school environment where the animals aren’t able to roam around as easily.

“Goats need a lot of exercise to get muscley,” Brummond said. “You can work them on treadmills, or we have sleighs where you can put concrete in the back so that it gets heavier so that the goats can get more muscle. So, it just progresses and you work on showing, which is where you brace them. You would stand up and kind of use the side of your leg to push into them so that way you can brace them so that you can show off the muscle to the judge.”

The muscles that the animals develop and the way that the animals are braced goes hand in hand with showmanship, making it a large part of the competition for students.

“I spent an average of 25 hours a week running, showing, and feeding my goats,” said senior and FFA president Abbie McElroy, who was awarded for her goat showmanship. “Showing them is also very important. I go to many extra side shows to get my goat used to the ring and get other judges’ opinions, which helps a lot.”

When it comes to showmanship of animals, McElroy knows what to expect from judges and how to prepare, allowing her to show off her and her goat’s confidence when the right time comes.

“There is a lot more to showing a goat than most people think,” McElroy said. “It’s all about those little details of staring a judge down with an ‘eye of the tiger’ look, setting your goat up fast, doing very little movement, and being confident overall in the ring.”

Reven Brummond, 9 – Horticulture Grand Champion, Goats Reserve Champion, Breeding Rabbit Grand Champion, Breeding Rabbit Reserve Champion, Agricultural Science Grand Champion

Chase Caldwell, 9 – Grand Champion for Goats

Benjamin Vindiola, 11 – Breeding Poultry Reserve Grand Champion

Abbie McElroy, 12 – Showmanship for Goats

Kami Degeer, 12 – Breeding Poultry Grand Champion

McKenzie Levy, 12 – Photography Grand Reserve Champion