Four members of the Copperas Cove FFA Chapter, along with approximately 200 other exhibitors, participated in the Robinson FFA Alumni Livestock Show in Clifton this past Saturday. For some, it was the first experience to compete in a livestock show. For other members, the show was a reality check.

Rebecka Downing, a 17-year-old senior, participated in the market swine show and placed first with her Yorkshire.

“Smaller shows like (Clifton) are helpful in preparing us to do even better at our county and major shows,” Downing said. “These small shows provide more one-on-one discussion with the judge and really allow for improvement before the bigger shows. They help us to see where we are (competitive).”

The Clifton show was junior FFA member Sadie Zieg’s first livestock show to attend with her goat. Jackie Sveter, a junior, showed two goats and a lamb and placed sixth with one of her goats. “The show helped me to learn what I need to fix and how to make my animals better,” Sveter said. Teresa Pitrucha, 17, placed second with her Southdown lamb. She said the thrill of being in the ring and the self-pride you have when you do well are what drive her to continue competing.

FFA Advisor Amanda Anderson said she is proud of her students. “It was a great learning experience for them all. Although these exhibitors participate in livestock showing, they do realize that livestock showing is not the only thing that FFA has to offer.” Sveter said FFA has made her “a much better public speaker” and the organization “teaches many skills that kids carry for the rest of their lives.”

“FFA is probably the best organization a teenager can be involved in,” Downing said. “It provides young adults with leadership, responsibility, and many other life-long lessons, but above all (it provides) a place of belonging,” The Coryell County Livestock Show is set for January in Gatesville.

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