As a youth, David Massey showed steers and just about everything else at the Parker County stock show.
He learned many values, including responsibility.
That’s one of the reasons he and fellow Hood County Livestock Raisers continue to orchestrate the Hood County Junior Livestock Show and Sale, which kicks off today at the Granbury Reunion Grounds.
“I think it’s a good teaching skill,” Massey, livestock raisers’ president, said about the stock show and 4-H and FFA exhibitors. “It teaches them responsibility and finances. We’ve got to have our ag industry to survive. That’s where we get our meat, our milk…”
The stock show, now in its 58th year, started with a few animals back in 1955.
Over 700 animals are expected to swarm the reunion grounds this week. The numbers seem to climb every year.
“I think more people are moving into Hood County and getting out of the bigger cities,” Massey said. “It gives the kids a chance to take ag.”
Businesses and individuals have met the demand. The auction has drawn record sales for at least the last two years, Massey pointed out.
“So far the economy hasn’t hurt,” Massey said. “We’re having more and more support from the community.”
Massey, fellow livestock raisers and exhibitors hope that support will be out again for Saturday’s 1 p.m. auction in the spacious and enclosed Courts Cleveland Show Barn. It was built four years ago for $400,000. Only $58,000 is owed.
Massey said when the barn is paid off, livestock raisers will look at other improvements, possibly adding pens for the growing number of animals.
The livestock raisers association is a nonprofit group. All funds go to the kids or reunion grounds, Massey stressed.
Spectators won’t notice many changes this year. Some sidewalks have been built, which will benefit patrons in rainy weather. (Rain is forecast today.) The reunion grounds can become muddy and very slippery on the hills.
Chickens start off the show at 11:30 this morning, followed by rabbits at 1 p.m.
Thursday’s schedule includes lambs at 10 a.m., ag mechanics and family living judging at 2 p.m., and hogs at 4 p.m.
You might want to enjoy a 4-H pancake breakfast benefit Friday morning starting at 6:30. Then head over to the goat show at 8 a.m., followed by heifers at 1 p.m. and – the granddaddy of all the shows – steers at 1:30 p.m.
Grand and reserve champion trophies will be awarded in each show.
Youngsters not winning shouldn’t be disappointed.
Doing the best they could do is a victory in itself, Massey said.
And who knows?
“It’s only just the judge’s opinion,” Massey said. “They may take the animal to show next week and win.”
A steak lunch will be served Saturday before the auction.
For more information call Massey at 817-925-1763.
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