CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Kids of all ages competed for grand champion in The San Patricio and Aransas County Agricultural & Homemakers show.
The pen of two heifer judging and auction took place at the San Patricio County fairgrounds.
Some of the kids that competed were separate by a decade in age. However, they all shared one goal: Selling their heifers to the highest bidder.
The contestants said it's not all about the money. They explained that the life experience goes a long way to prepare them for what comes next after the livestock show.
8-year-old, Andi Campbell is competing in the San Patricio and Aransas County A&H Show for the first time. She raised two heifers with her dad for the last four months, selling them today at the fairgrounds.
Campbell said, "I'm looking forward to having the best cattle and earning a belt buckle."
Thomas Barnick is in his 10th year and still remembers his first. "My first year ever doing this, I spun around in a little chair, and I was shaking nervous. Now I can go in there and I can actually talk to people like I'm talking to you right now, without being nervous." He explained.
Barnick is a senior at Sinton High school and active member of Sinton FFA. He's won 14 belt buckles in 10 years. He said his classes and competitions taught him how to succeed raising livestock, but that it's about more than their selling price.
"It's not just about the money, which the money helps with college and stuff like that. But it's about the life skill that people learn." Barnick added.
From 8-years-old to 18, Barnick said the nerves returned this year, but still felt prepared.
The judges scored his heifers and interviewed him. While he said the score heifers is more significant to the total, scoring well at the interview too is what makes a grand champion.
Barnick told 3NEWS, "I feel like a little kid doing this again and being my last year, I wanted to go all out, and I wanted to lay everything on the line at the interview."
Barnick went on to sell his pair of heifers and win grand champion. He said he will move on to study agriculture at Texas A&M University and continue he's family's legacy at a seven-generation ranch near San Antonio. As for his interview, he said he brought his entire experience over the last decade into it.
"I didn't just talk about today, I talked about my entire 10-year career doing this and I think that's important for them to know and for them to know the knowledge that I've learned doing this." Barnick said.
To keep the competition fair, the kids competed in three divisions. Junior, intermediate and senior.
Barnick's advice for future kids competing in livestock shows was, "always give it 110% and don't quit since it will pay off in the end and beyond that in life."
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