The 69th annual Killeen Junior Livestock Show went underway on Thursday and there was no shortage of competitors this year.
”This year we have 159 exhibitors, students, and they are showing 600 exhibits,” said Brett Gordon, President of the Board for Killeen Junior Livestock Show.
11-year-old Paisley Wright is competing with both chickens and turkeys that she spent months raising herself.
”I have to clean out their shavings and sand, and make sure it’s clean so they’re in a good environment,” Wright said.
“I also have to feed them daily, water them daily, and put electrolytes in it. Then I give them this stuff and it makes them have more meat and bigger breasts.”
It’s a family tradition that her dad says is capable of teaching valuable life lessons.
”She’s learning and growing because of all of of this,” said Paisley's father, Chris Wright.
“She’s learning responsibility by taking care of her animals, and she’s got some good character traits that are growing because of all of that.”
It’s not just livestock that the kids are competing with — but they’re also showing off their metal and woodworking skills.
A gate built by high school senior Landon Glazener, won first place.
The gate was built with skills that are used for more than just a blue ribbon.
”There’s skills to livestock — other than just the animals,” Glazener said.
“You have your welders, you have your woodworkers, and it gives people a way to be part of a stock show. Even if they don’t want to have an animal.”
Since this is the last year he can compete in the Junior Show, he has some advice for the next generation of competitors.
”Just get into it,” Glazener said.
“Whether it’s baking, whether it’s AG mechanics, whatever it is — just get your foot in the door and see if you enjoy it, because it has held a very special place in my heart.”