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As livestock show season picks up steam, Chavez High School Junior Jewels Hernandez is ready for her first time in the major show ring.
“I am really excited,” she said. “I hope to one day win grand champion at a major show.”
In just her first year with Chavez’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) program, Hernandez has already had considerable success showing her Simbrah heifer, which is something she has long wanted to try.
“Going to the rodeo and seeing other kids raising animals really got me interested,” she said. “Once I found out I had the opportunity to raise cattle through the FFA program, I knew I had to try it out for myself.”
In January, Hernandez’s prize heifer was awarded Grand Champion at the Sheldon FFA open show, and she placed sixth in Class 1 at the Dickinson FFA Winter Showdown in December.
Now, Hernandez and her fellow FFA peers prepare for the big stage. For FFA students, competing on the major livestock show circuit means the chance to compete for the life-changing financial boost that comes with winning thousands of dollars for a grand champion steer.
This Monday, Chavez’s cattle show team heads west for the San Antonio Livestock Exposition. In March, they, along with Chavez’s rabbit, lamb and goat teams move on to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Chavez FFA is part of the district’s Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources CTE program. The program is committed to preparing students for careers in agricultural commodities and natural resources, and is offered at other high schools in the district, including Lamar, Bellaire and Austin.