By Sarah Chacko
Killeen Daily Herald
This weeks Killeen Junior Livestock Show will be a first and a last for Lauren DeWees.
Its her first year to show sheep but the last year she will be eligible to compete with the FFA.
DeWees, 18, said she joined the FFA because it adds to her resume.
Though the Killeen High School senior is hoping to major in fashion merchandising and marketing in college, DeWees said shes enjoyed the experience working with animals.
Last year her first year in FFA DeWees raised and showed rabbits.
This year, she wanted a bigger challenge.
Sheep are one of the hardest animals to show because they have a mind of their own, she said.
Teaching her sheep to stand and move in a certain way was much more difficult than grooming and monitoring the diet of her rabbits, she said.
Dedication and responsibility are on the minds of all the competitors.
Every animal requires daily care and attention, and no one knows that better than the youth coming to the Killeen Special Events Center for this weeks show.
The Houston brothers of Killeen, who raise pigs, said they have learned over the years what judges look for and what it takes to make the grade.
Last year, Michael Houston, 13, was awarded Reserve Champion for one of his pigs.
He said raising a good animal is half how the animal was born and half what you do with it.
James Houston, 10, said judges can cut a pig from the show before it even enters the ring.
You learn when you dont make it into the ring, he said.
Lexi Farrar of Florence, already in her fourth year of showing sheep, watched her older sister raise sheep until she lost interest last year.
This one wont, Lexis mother, April, said.
Lexi, 11, has aspirations of going to Texas A&M University and becoming a veterinarian.
She helped one of her sheep give birth to twin lambs. The hands-on experience alone has taught her a lot about what she can expect in the future.
Blood doesnt bother her. Giving shots doesnt bother her, April Farrar said.
The Farrars moved to Florence about four years ago and since it was largely an agricultural community, decided to get involved.
Despite owning three ewes, April Farrar said she and her daughter are still new to the whole experience.
We have so much more to learn, she said.
The schedule for the show is as follows:
1 p.m.: Judging of poultry
4 p.m.: Judging of goats
7 p.m.: Judging of sheep
1 p.m.: Judging of rabbits
4 p.m.: Judging of swine
7 p.m.: Judging of cattle
10 a.m.: Junior Exhibitors Show
11 a.m.: Outback Steakhouse Barbecue for competitors and buyers
12:30 p.m.: Awards presentation
1 p.m.: Auction sale
The show is open to the public and is free of charge.
Contact Sarah Chacko at firstname.lastname@example.org