Hundreds of students compete in 47th annual Walter Gerlach Livestock Show

O’Connor High School instructors say for students to get to this point, it’s a lot of hard work

sAN aNTONIO – Hundreds of North East ISD FFA and 4-H students are hoping their hard work will pay off this week at the 47th annual Walter Gerlach Livestock Show.

Tuesday was “goat judging day” and student’s with O’Connor’s FFA Program said it didn’t take them long to learn that when it comes to showing goats, they will always have their work cut out for them.

“He’s very spoiled,” Sierra Gray, an FFA O’Connor High School student, said of her goat. “He likes eating a lot. He’ll eat anything.”

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O’Connor High School agriculture science teacher Bryan Hawkins said for the students to get to this point, it’s a lot of hard work. It starts with learning how to take care of their animals.

“It takes a lot of practice,” Hawkins said. “The students have to have a lot of patience with their animal, constantly working with them, working multiple hours a day to try and train them, to walk with them, as well, and of course, showing.”

Hawkins said the students learn a lot about responsibility and many of them go into the medical or engineering field.

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“I’ve enjoyed the challenge,” said O’Connor FFA President Luke Holland. “The stock show program has given me a chance to better myself by pushing myself and doing different things I never have had the opportunity to do.”

"I have always wanted to work in the animal industry, said Sierra Gray, an FFA O'Connor High School student. "I wanted to become a zoologist. I thought that this program would be a good opportunity for me to learn the basics of working with animals and taking care of them."

Many students win money for scholarships, like Brittney Haby, who won grand champion last year.

“It was an incredible opportunity just to know that all of that hard work paid off,” Haby said. “And, to know that I did that. I worked so hard and I got that gift. It’s amazing.”

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