The countdown is on as I anxiously await my most favorite time of the year, the Nueces County Junior Livestock Show! I am a proud 3rd generation participant in this great annual event. For seventy years my family has been involved in this county show, dating back to the 1930ís when my great-grandfather was a member of the original group who started it all. My grandfather began showing, followed by my parents, and you can say it has been born and bred into me. Every year I look forward to being involved in the show, and when I finish, I plan on helping my little sister continue our proud heritage.

This year will be my 9th year showing swine, and what a fun and exciting journey it has been! My first experience as a little 3rd grade girl, proved that I had A LOT to learn! Little did I know that taking care of a pig was so much work. From walking, to feeding, clipping, washing, brushing, cleaning pens, weighing, and loving on my pigs, I have learned the value of responsibility. Walking in that ring for the first time and receiving my 3rd place ribbon, gave me such a rush, and was the start of my new addiction. I have gone from having two pigs in the barn my first year, to now having eight! This year I even delivered and raised my first litter of piglets, and look forward to showing some of them at the San Antonio Livestock Show. I have learned responsibility, dedication, and above all motivation to work hard and push my animal and myself to our fullest potential.

Being involved in the Livestock Show, I have had the opportunity to participate in livestock judging. I started in Junior High and didnít know exactly what it entailed. Through Livestock Judging, I soon realized that judging at contests could help me with my own swine project, and it does! Now I travel with my dad to pick out my show pigs because I know what an ideal pig looks like!

Some people think that this show is only about showing animals, but it is so much more! I have also participated in the homemaking, shop, carcass steer divisions, and the Queens Contest.

The Carcass Steer competition has increased my knowledge of cattle in so many ways. Being a part of this competition, Iíve learned how to feed out a steer whose destination is Sam Kaneís, to be graded and processed in order to produce a prime piece of meat! The participants in this contest are also judged on their interview skills and record books. My experience with interviews will better prepare me for future job opportunities, thanks to the livestock show! I am proud to say now, that when my family and I go to the grocery store I can pick out the best piece of meat on the shelf!

The highlight of my livestock show years was when I was crowned the 2013 Nueces County Junior Livestock Show Queen! This has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I remember being at the show and looking up to all the queens contestants as positive role models, and now I am honored to be a role model to other kids just like me! My favorite moments as Queen are when kids, especially little girls, come up to me and give me a big hug and want to take a picture! To know I can be a positive influence to them, truly makes being Queen one of the most special parts of my life! I have been very proud to represent Nueces County throughout the year.

The Nueces County Junior Livestock Show is not just one week out of the year for me, it is THE WEEK I have been preparing for all year! It is also the week I look forward to spending time with my wonderful friends that I have met through being involved in the different aspects of this show!

I donít think of the foundation of the Nueces County Junior Livestock show as being the buildings that keep everything inside, or the pens that contain the animals. The foundation of this show is the many families that support their kids through it all. Thereís no other organization that brings together a family as much as this livestock show! Together we laugh, we cry, we win, we lose, and sometimes we even fight, but we do it ALL together! My family has been there supporting me through it all, and have prepared me to overcome obstacles and achieve success. This show is all about the youth of Nueces County preparing for our future and creating a better community!