Aubrey FFA raises over $100K
By Abigail Allen
Months of effort were on display Saturday during the Aubrey FFA Livestock Show.
Groups of Aubrey FFA students, ranging from elementary school aged to high school seniors, took the arena to put their capabilities on display.
"What's great about this is, when we get here, everybody's done this all year," ag sciences teacher Tracy "TY" Yarbrough said. "They know what to do. … We can just be here and be proud, sit up here and relax and have fun like we're a spectator for once."
Yarbrough served as emcee for the show, as fellow AHS ag sciences teacher Jennifer Gilbreath kept track of the students and animals in the arena.
Having members of the community, the school board, city council and AISD staff support the students "means a lot."
"When they come up to just see what our kids are doing, it shows that our kids are out there in our community and we've built a good relationship with the community," she said.
The 44 students showed in 28 classes of animal projects over the course of the day, and there were some ag mechanics projects on display as well.
Assistant Principal Lisa Deaver stood watching her students working hard during the show.
"They've worked so long on these projects," she said. "To finally get to see them present those and share those—it's a lot of fun."
Superintendent Dr. David Belding was also happy to spend his Saturday morning seeing the kids' efforts and the community's engagement on display.
"It shows so much about our community and that our community loves our kids and wants to support them in all the activities that we do," he said. "The ag program is a vital part of our community."
Justin Little of Gainesville served as the judge for the show.
"Showmanship is the worst thing you ever judge," he said in the arena. "But I enjoy it. I have a good time with it. I try to make it fun, try to keep it interesting, try to keep them on their toes."
He did that through eliminating the crops that the students generally get to use to guide their animals around the ring, having students swap animals at times and requiring the kids to keep their animals from straying into an extra open gate.
At the sale that evening, Earl Stander served as the auctioneer, and 71 lots were sold to the roughly 200 people in attendance. Nine students who made sale at the Denton County stock show got to resell.
Because one of the seniors had his animal die before the show, he was able to have a senior hardship sale.
Additional auction items included 12 plants potted by the landscape class, two donations of hay and food items.
Even more donations went toward the Senior Scholarship Gift Card Tree.
The initial tally puts the sales totals for projects at $107,000, an additional $4,000 from the other live auction items, $21,000 in scholarship money and $5,000 from the silent auction.