Livestock Show shapes childrens' lives

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POSTED: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 3:54pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 14, 2014 - 9:37am

For most people, the Rio Grande Valley Rodeo and Farm Show is all about fun. But for some, the competition is serious business. The RGV Livestock Show can help shape a child’s future.

Mike Cargill has been caring for animals in farm shows since 7th grade. “I think there was a glitch in my schedule. I ended up in an Agricultural class, and I fell in love with it,” said Los Fresnos High School Junior Mike Cargill.

Some kids prepare all year long for the RGV show. They spend hours out of every day taking care of their animals. “My dad told me, and I remember to this day, that this is art. Combing the hair and getting everything ready to go is an art,” said Cargill.

The animals may not be excited about all the students’ hard prep work, but the teachers are extremely happy about the students' efforts. “Its really a fun opportunity to learn about taking care of something besides themselves,” said Los Fresnos Agricultural Teacher DJ Wernecke.

Cargill says his family bought the animals, paid for feed, and helped take care of the animals, which makes it a family project. “We all spend equal amounts of time working on the animal and equal amounts of money. It all feels really good….from my mom and dad, all the way down to my little sister,” said Cargill.

It takes hard work. So why do it? Some participants like the embossed belt buckle that winners get. Others do it for the money that a winning animal can get, in some cases more than $2,000. The benefits, however, can go much farther than just money.

“It's not just about the animal itself. It's about the responsibility. It's about the dedication. It's about the leadership that the kids learn all year taking care of these animals,” said Wernecke.
“People who go off to college without any sort of structure or discipline, they often don't finish college. They are unable to pay attention in classes and do all the hard work that it takes to be successful,” said Cargill.

The RGV Livestock Show promotes success not only for today, but also for the future. The show runs through March 16, 2014. Kids from 3rd grade through 12th grade can participate in the event.
 

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