Several of the Bellaire FFA students still plan to compete against others across the state this weekend, but now they have to find another way to get their 11 cattle there. Thieves ripped off their brand new trailer and loaded it up with hay and feed before letting all the cattle out of the fence.
Dusty is preparing for a little scrub down. He's one of six cattle left wandering a busy road after thieves stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment and feed from the Bellaire FFA barn.
"He definitely could have died, if there was a car and they weren't paying attention," student Courtney Gonzalez said.
Less than three weeks ago, the Bellaire FFA acquired a 20-foot aluminum livestock trailer, it still had paper plates on it. It was parked near the barn. Then sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning, thieves broke onto the property, hooked up the trailer and then loaded it with student hay and feed.
"They snapped the lock off the storage container here, opened it up, and from that point, they just helped themselves to the feed and the hay that was in here," Bellaire High School ag teacher Mark Peak said.
They had to immediately restock the hay and feed for the animals to consume. What's even more disappointing, is that whoever stole the trailer, is in the same line of work as the FFA students.
"The bond, the brotherhood has been violated. And that's kind of the most disappointing thing in my mind. Whoever took the trailer, had to be in the industry," Peak said.
A police report had been filed and between the trailer, hay and feed the students are looking at a $16,000 loss. They hope someone recognizes the trailer and calls authorities.
"We're doing this for good and it's not like we deserve to get this stolen from us," Gonzalez said.
They do have insurance. However, the trailer won't be replaced before this weekend, so they are checking with other organizations to see if they can borrow one for the Washington County fair in Brenham this weekend.