Some San Antonio students, teachers say a lot is riding on the livestock show going on as scheduled

The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo starts next week

With major events being canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus, some participating in the San Antonio Livestock Show are concerned.
With major events being canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus, some participating in the San Antonio Livestock Show are concerned.

SAN ANTONIO – With major events being canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus, some participating in the San Antonio Livestock Show are concerned.

The rodeo is still scheduled to start next week, despite a letter from Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff asking them to postpone.

For months, students have spent countless hours taking care of their animals and hoping to compete at the livestock show.

“We’re going to hope that it doesn’t get canceled and we’re going to push forward as if it’s happening just like it would in a normal year,” said Peggy Georg, Jourdanton High School Teacher.

Jourdanton High School senior Clair Vyvlecka has been participating in the San Antonio Livestock Show for 10 years.

“I spend up to two hours every single day out there feeding my pigs, walking my pigs, cleaning their pens,” Vyvlecka said.

She is looking forward to this year’s event.

“I have the opportunity to participate in events where I could win scholarships,” Vyvlecka said.

Students at James Madison High School have also been preparing for the livestock show for months.

If the event is postponed or canceled, there could be a financial loss for the students.

“An average price of just the lamb itself is about $1,100. That does not include entry fees, feed. They have to rent the facilities here on campus, (buy) supplements, anything that they know the animal needs (including) halters, blankets, any of those things also go into it,” said Tyler Price, Agriscience teacher at James Madison High School.

About 120 Madison High School students will be participating in this year’s livestock show.

“The goal is that these students can get to San Antonio, get a spot on the sale and recoup some, if not all of that money that they put into that project,” Price said.

And postponing the event wouldn’t be beneficial either, Price said.

“We buy these animals with a target weight and a target end date in mind. And so, pushing that back, you know we fed these animals to get them primed and ready for this. And so, pushing that time back get us out of that weight limit or that weight goal that we were aiming for and that can make your animals, not at their peak performance,” Price said.

For senior Shepherd Smith, this will be his fourth year showing and raising lambs.

“With these two lambs, I actually started in July and every day, twice a day, I’ve been in the barn feeding and working with these lambs countless hours before and after school,” Smith said.

The rodeo is still scheduled to start next week with safety measures in place including temperature screenings at all entrances. Face coverings are required and people must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.

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Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.