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“Where good things are growing” was the theme of the 74th Annual Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show (RGVLS) which took place March 8-17 in Mercedes. The theme was especially fitting for many elementary, junior high and high school aged students from Mission, Sharyland and La Joya who walked away with many of the banners, buckles and ribbons and much of the prize money awarded at this year’s edition of the Valley’s largest livestock show.
Mission FFA’s Jesus Ramos was the top winner among local students with his grand champion Medium Wool market lamb. Sharyland FFA’s Tyler Kelley and David Trevino took home reserve grand championship honors in the shop projects competition with their four-piece bedroom set while Bailey Lopez exhibited the reserve grand champion Fine Wool Cross market lamb for the Sharyland 4-H.
While it is impossible for all participants in a livestock show such as this to be among the top winners, Veterans Memorial High School Agricultural Sciences teacher Ruben Alaniz explained how there is much more to showing livestock than winning.
“Showing livestock is about learning life skills,” said Alaniz. “No matter how you place that’s what you learn when you go into the arena….Competing in the arena is like life. You win some and you lose some. And when you lose you just have to regroup and go forward with a positive attitude.”
Sharyland High School ag teacher Joe Carter shared similar sentiments when he said, “We did have quite a bit of success this year, but success is not always the goal. Like a good friend of mine said, ‘The animal is just a tool to build the kid,’ and that is the approach we take at Sharyland FFA.”
With 25 market hogs and 16 steers entered, Sharyland FFA was very well represented in the market animals division at this year’s show. Teah Barrientes emerged as a top winner for Sharyland with her breed champion ABC steer while Sixto Torres (Simbrah) and Clyte Best (Maine-Anjou) both exhibited reserve breed champion steers. Sierra Long took reserve breed champion honors with her Light Cross market hog.
Sharyland FFA’s other top winners included Annahi Maldonado (first place Light Cross hog), Ryan Longoria (second place Duroc hog), Richard Longoria (second place Hampshire hog), Seth Carter (second place Hampshire hog), Kayla Marek (second place Charolais steer), Elexandra Chelf (second place OPB hog) and Danielle Rangel (second place AOB steer).
Bailey Lopez was not the only RGVLS winner among members of the Sharyland 4-H. Others included Alexandra Longoria’s reserve breed champion Medium Wool market lamb, Syanne Escobar’s reserve breed champion Charolais steer, Desiree Rangel’s and Meaghan Welch’s first place market goats and Melanie Turrubiates’ second place market goat.
Veterans Memorial FFA cornered the market in the Santa Gertrudis steer show with Zenaida Alaniz’ heavyweight steer taking the breed championship and Roy Guerrero’s middle weight steer taking the reserve breed championship. Prior to their double win, VMHS’ top winner had been Meagan Garrett with her second place market goat.
In addition to Jesus Ramos’ grand champion market lamb, Mission FFA had several second place winners in the market lamb show. They included Rolando Hinojosa (Fine Wool), Alyssa Flores (Fine Wool Cross), Vanessa Calderon (Southdown) and April Cerda (Medium Wool). Miguel Ceron had a first place market goat and Lyanna Garza had a first place ABC steer for Mission FFA as well.
La Joya Palmview FFA’s top winners included one breed champion and one first place market hog. Abel Navarro’s OPB took the breed championship while Guadalupe Martinez took the blue ribbon with his Dark Cross hog.
La Joya Juarez-Lincoln FFA’s Carlos Ramirez exhibited the reserve breed champion Fine Wool Cross market lamb while Gilbert Lopez and Samantha Ramirez both took second place with their Medium Wool market lamb and AOB market steer, respectively.
La Joya FFA’s top two winners at the 2013 RGVLS were both market goats. Elaine Campos’ Medium Heavy market goat took reserve breed championship honors while Ashley Campos took first in her class with her goat.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.