San Antonio agriscience students await return of livestock shows, rodeos

NEISD program taking COVID-19 precautions in preparation

SAN ANTONIO – No classes at Madison High School doesn’t mean there aren’t students in its agriscience program working in the massive barn on campus.

The program's director, Doak Stewart, said there are still about 15 students already preparing for what is hoped will be next year's round of livestock shows and rodeos.

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"These animals needed somebody daily to come out and still provide for them and care for them," Stewart said.

However, he said COVID-19 precautions are in place so that parents also are welcome to supervise.

Stewart said only five students at a time are allowed in the mornings and evenings on a seven-day schedule. He said this is being done for the sake of social distancing.

To make sure “we have plenty of space based on the square footage of the facility where students could move freely without coming across each other’s paths,” he said.

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Stewart said that’s in addition to wearing face coverings and disinfecting any tools the students are sharing.

Londyn Hall, who will be a Madison High School sophomore next year, said the program has "made sure that everyone is safe during this coronavirus pandemic."

Hall said when the crisis began, she was shocked when classes were canceled.

"I was scared. I didn't know how we were going to proceed," Hall said.

Yet thanks to the precautions being taken, she said, "Once all this coronavirus settles down, I will have some good looking livestock."

Stewart said by focusing their energies and passions on their animals, “this has definitely been something that has allowed our students at least have some normalcy during this time.”

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