The Livestock Show epitomizes our South Texan love of agriculture and fanfare. The annual 12-day festival has animal displays of all types, funnel cakes, rodeos, live entertainment, carnival rides, and a sea of cowboy hats. It’s also a celebration of the arts, with students competing in contests of painting, photography, and more.
World-renowned judges lend their expertise to local 4H and FFA students who have worked hard all year to raise a strong, healthy, and attractive animal. The heartbreaking exchange between a teen and their pig, goat, chicken, rabbit, or steer is just another part of life in the RGV.
These longhorns were part of the junior show. They are in a pen waiting to go into the judging area where they will be walked by their owners or the student participants in front of a judge and the cheering crowd.
The RGV Livestock Show Pet Show is a real crowd pleaser. The Pet Show is an annual free event for children ages 2 to 12 to show off their favorite pets, whether that’s a live animal or a favorite cuddly stuffed toy. Children up to 4 years old can enter their cute, visibly loved, and unique stuffed animals into the pet show, and everybody is a winner.
Joshua Munoz from Santa Rosa shows off his horticulture project to a judge, a large plant in the Class 10 – Edible Plants category that won Reserve Grand Champion.
The Livestock Show not only showcases the various factors that can be bred into a herd, such as vigor, heat tolerance, and even insect resistance, but also the knowledge and showmanship of the animal’s handler, which will be judged independently of the animal’s quality. In this picture, the show person makes an effort to make eye contact with the judge when parading her Simbrah, a display of showmanship skills, in an attempt to show the animal off.
When asked by the judge, the show person should be able to give information about their animal, such as age, breed, nutrition, and more. For example, the Simbrah shown here has been described as “The All Purpose American Breed,” according to the American Simmental Association, with positive attributes of both the Simmental and Brahman that produce a lean, high-quality beef product.