The Texoma Exposition and Livestock Show got into full swing on Tuesday at Loy Lake Park in Denison as hundreds of students will be showing their various animals and other agriculture projects throughout the week.
Fred Douglass Early Childhood Center Bilingual Pre-K teacher Cynthia Rascon was giving a group of her students a tour of the livestock show on Tuesday.
“They love the goats,” Rascon said. “They make a lot of noises and stand up. We wanted them to experience the animals. We’re reviewing what animals do, where we keep them and what the kids feed them.”
She said her students were able to see the older students unloading the animals from their trailers, which helps show the younger students a path they can take if they choose. Rascon said there were three groups of students enjoying the livestock show on Tuesday with more going out for Wednesday.
As of Tuesday there had been 1,148 total entrants, up from the previous year’s 1,071. There were also 643 youths signed up for the show and most entries had increased over last year. Breeding poultry was up to 88 over the 37 entries from last year. There were 86 heifers this year compared to 76 last year and steers and swine declined slightly. Steers were down to 97 from 102 last year and swine were down to 434 from 440.
There are 500 entries from 273 youth in the General Exhibits building this year. Judging for that will be Wednesday by 4 p.m.
Whitesboro High senior Christon Watson brought her Grand Champion breeding doe.
“I raised her from a baby,” Watson said of his goat. “I am very excited to see her do good. I love it a lot.”
Watson said she has been showing for the last five years, ever since she saw a pig one day and fell in love with the animal.
“I believe it is very important,” Watson said of the livestock show. “It teaches you to be responsible. Showing has taught me amazing things.”
She also shows boy goats and said her favorite part is meeting people and traveling the country showing animals. She said it is still hard work but gets more fun every year.
One thing that will be new this year is the Argibotics Challenge on Saturday. Students will be using LEGO Mindstorm robotics kits to demonstrate various problem solving skills for farmers using technology to harvest crops.
“The purpose is a simulation to represent what a farmer would do on a farm,” Grayson County 4H Agent Tamra McGaughy, who is coordinating the event, said. “They will start learning how to increase production while having less impact on the environment using technology.”
She said the students will have roughly 90 minutes to fine tune their pre-assembled robots before turning them loose for the challenge. The robots will perform tasks to simulate harvesting corn, including navigating an obstacle intended to simulate a downed bridge blocking the robot’s path.
McGaughy has been coordinating these types of challenges at the Texas State Fair in recent years and said she felt the Texoma students were ready to take on the challenge.
The Showing With Heart special show for children with special needs is set for Thursday and Friday at 11 a.m. will be the buyer’s luncheon followed by the auction sale at noon.