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Kids raise livestock as a hobby in Central Texas

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Posted at 4:17 PM, Feb 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-02 17:38:41-05

Most kids play sports or maybe dance as an after-school activity, but these Central Texas kids raise livestock.

Starting in May or June, they'll purchase an animal in hopes to raise it for the year ahead and then hopefully sell it in the annual McLennan County Junior Livestock show. 

Raising livestock teaches eight to 18-year-old's responsibility, working long hours a day in and day out these kids put their heart and soul into their work. 

In the livestock show animals that are being sold are rabbits, broiler, steer, swine, turkey, goat and lamb. 

Payton Herzog turns 18-years-old this year and has participated in raising livestock for 10 years. This year, his steer was the reserve champion of the livestock show. His steer named Willie weighs in at 1,475 pounds. 

His favorite part about each year, getting to show what he accomplished. 

"It's kind of exciting to show off what you've worked for all year and get to see people appreciate it as much as you do," Herzog said. 

This event is loud and fast, buyers from all over Central Texas come to enjoy the show and hopefully leave with some new livestock. 

"I was talking to my wife today, the man hours that it takes to do what these kids have done it's just astonishing," Mike Collins, a frequent buyer, said. 

Herzog doesn't get attached when raising the animal, he is used to the outcome of making sure it gets sold at the end of it all. Being his last year, getting Willie sold is the main goal in mind. 

"I fed him and showed him. And then, I brought it hoping for the best, because I'm a senior and I wanted to try and just make the sale." 

Herzog did end up selling Willie, a nice ending to his 10 years of experience. Now he leaves a piece of advice for the other kids to follow. 

"Don't ever give up you're going to have ups and downs you're definitely not going to win every show I haven't," Herzog said. "If you're determined to do it keep going through with it." 

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