Allison Ellis grew up watching her older brother feed and take care of livestock.
This year, she decided to take care of her own.
“It’s fun,” said Allison, 10, of Florence. “(I like) just getting out there and walking it. You gotta feed them and wash them.”
Allison will show her pig this week during the 60th annual Killeen Junior Livestock Showat the Killeen Special Events Center.
There are about 160 entries in the show, and residents checked and weighed in their animals Wednesday, said GuyBob Hilliard, vice president for the show’s board of directors.
He said the preparation leading up to the show teaches children responsibility and that hard work pays off.
“They get up in the morning and feed (animals) before they go to school and then they work with them after school,” Hilliard said.
“There’s a lot of kids that don’t have (any) structure in their lives and that’s what you have in society now. ... It’s all about the ‘me’ generation and we’re trying to change that a little bit at a time.”
Lane Wright, an Ellison High School sophomore, has been showing animals for six years.
“It’s just something different. It’s such a blast,” he said. “I used to show goats, but I started showing pigs, (because they) are more enjoyable.”
Allison’s dad, Willie Ellis, said his daughter enjoys taking care of the animals, but wasn’t as excited about showing them until she won her first buckle last month during a Bell County show.
“When it comes to working the pig, she just really didn’t show a whole lot of interest. When she went in the ring, it was kind of like a light switch went off,” he said. “She’s competitive.”
The show continues today with judges looking at poultry, goats and sheep.
The show ends at 1 p.m. Saturday with an auction.