Slipping On Boots and Hats for the Katy Livestock Show


Sandra Sadek

Texas, the state most known for its boots and cowboy hats. The main attraction that all excited Texans await for is, of course, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. However, for the students here at Tompkins High School, and all over Katy, another major show is quickly approaching; the Katy ISD Livestock Show and Rodeo, hosted from Feb. 16 to Feb. 18.


The Katy ISD Livestock Show and Rodeo is a nonprofit organization aiming at encouraging agricultural education within Katy ISD. FFA members are heavy participants and have the opportunity to display their knowledge in a variety of events, such as animal shows, agricultural mechanics and even live auctions. Animals available for exhibition include pigs, broilers, rabbits, swines, steers, goats and lambs.

“Currently for the KISD Livestock Show and Rodeo, I will be exhibiting a lamb. I’ve been raising a lamb all year, since Oct. 8, which is when I got her,” said senior FFA Officer Jiselle Strong. “Next week, on Feb. 17 I will be showing her along with exhibiting a Horticulture project. I made a wreath for this year’s livestock show so I’m very excited to exhibit both of those two projects.”


Participating in animal raising requires huge dedication and passion. Students must be able to spend a certain amount of time in the barn, taking care of the animal and making sure to meet all of its needs. Obviously, bred and raised animals must be in good health and condition when presented at the show. In order to do so, FFA members participating in this event must make sure to meet all criteria for a beautiful animal.


“Everyday, before and after school, I’ll go out to the barn and I’ll give them water, clean out their pen and feed them,” said sophomore Braden Boeker, who is also an FFA officer currently getting ready to auction off his pig. “I’ll also walk them and exercise them, just to get them ready for show day.”

Although the animal shows and the auctions are the most anticipated events on the three day schedule, FFA members can also partake in Leadership Development Events and Career Development Events as well.

“This year, I am showing animals. I am also doing radio broadcasting, which is an LDE contest, as well as a CDE event which is livestock judging,” said Boeker.

As Tompkins High School participates in the show for a fourth year, many students find themselves taking part in their last entry as a contestant at the Katy ISD Livestock Show and Rodeo. While goals of placing higher overall or selling the animal for a good price may be on the to-do list of many seniors, the shared memories and experiences with friends, makes all the hard work worthwhile.

“Just seeing everyone get ready after putting in all this hard work and dedication over these past few months, you finally get to see everyone’s animal there. It’s finally their time to shine and it’s just so exciting to see everyone come through with that,” said Strong.