Last year as schools were forced to shut down due to COVID-19, the major stock shows in Houston and Austin were canceled, devastating several high school students, especially the class of 2020. However, this year they are competing and following the new health and safety guidelines.
Earlier in the school year the Frenship FFA competed in the academic contests, advancing four teams to the area contest, and the Sr. Quiz team to the state contest.
Frenship FFA sponsor Melani Howell said she is beyond proud of the leadership and dedication that her FFA students have show this year, especially her seniors.
“Our state advancing Sr. Quiz team members were Braxton Holder, Nikki Keeton Woodrow Stiewart, and Jordan Rennels,” Howell said. “We are so proud of all of our students competing in these public speaking contests. During Christmas, the Frenship FFA raised funds for the South Plains Food Bank. In January students competed in the Local Stock Show and Lubbock County Stock show. We are about to kick of Career Development Events (CDE) season too and start judging competitions.”
Howell said she has a lot of new participation this year in FFA. She said she is amazed at the responsibility that so many students are taking on.
“All the new and older kids are super excited to stock show this year,” Howell said. “Showing livestock teaches young people responsibility, time management, and financial preparation. Students must feed their livestock project twice a day, exercise their animal, and make sure they are healthy. It is a big task for a teenager, and it teaches them so many valuable life lessons.”
Howell said she believes that FFA prepares kids of all ages for their futures.
“Being a part of FFA is very rewarding,” Howell said. “Students can become active freshmen and participate all the way through their senior year. There is a ton of opportunity for scholarships, leadership skills, career development and public speaking skills. Students can be active in competitive events such as Leadership Development Events, Career Development Events, Supervised Agricultural Events and even speaking development events.”
Howell said that the major stock shows are starting and the first stop for many of her FFA students is the San Angelo stock show.
“At the San Angelo stock show, we have 66 pigs, 3 steers, 8 goats, and 8 sheep going,” Howell said. “At San Antonio livestock show we have 26 pigs, 7 sheep, 3 goats, 3 heifers, 1 steer and 1 pen of broilers. Lastly at Houston livestock show we have about 25 pigs, 10 sheep and goats. 2 steers and 15 pens of broilers going.”
Howell said she expects her students to work hard and that they exceed her expectations every day.
“They work hard, are respectful, know how to be humble, and ultimately, they learn to work with a team,” Howell said. “FFA truly prepares students for their future and gives them valuable skills that help them excel in their future. The mission of the FFA is to prepare students for premiere leadership, personal growth, and career success. I truly believe that Frenship FFA embodies the FFA mission statement and prepares students for their future.”