Houston students ready for rodeo competition

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Livestock Show and Rodeo season is in full swing across Texas and right here in the Houston area.

Katy ISD's big event kicks off today at the L.D. Robinson Pavilion alongside the Merrell Center in Katy.

Students and teachers spent months getting ready for the competition. James E. Taylor High School freshmen Brianna Cummings and Matthew Torres have been raising hogs.

They took abc13 into the Katy ISD barn to give us a sneak peek of just how much effort goes into the process.

Cummings described the challenges she's faced along the way.

"My pig had an initial fear of grass so we had to get over that. It took a while, just going through the ropes," said Cummings. "When she was growing up, I was growing up with her. It's just really nice how much hard work I put in to it. It's amazing."

Cummings and Torres among other students want their hog to be named "Grand Champion." They've fed, exercised, and trained with the animals every day for months.

"You bring it to show and it's all up to you. You've been training the entire time," said Torres. "We've been to two practice shows already."

The two's agricultural science teacher, Jason Sams, spoke with Eyewitness News about the hands-on learning opportunities.

He said it's rewarding to see how much both the student and animal grow over a short period of time.

"This just teaches them responsibility," said Sams. "They do not realize exactly what they get into whey the first purchase their animal but in the end, they're overwhelming confident of what they've done and what they've raised."

Instructional specialist Guy James works with the district's 28 agricultural science teachers to put on the show. He said students can win money and use it to help pay for college tuition.

He said winning a competition takes a whole lot of determination.

"Lots of luck which is the end product of a lot of hard work. There is a lot of feeding correctly, exercise, and teaching them to show. They should be working with the animals 3 hours a day," said James. "This is the livestock show season. They kick off with Fort Worth at the end of January and will finish up in April with Austin. You've got San Antonio and Houston in between."

For more information about the event, visit http://katyrodeo.org/.
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