Participants from area FFA and 4-H clubs gathered in Exhibit Hall A at the Richard M. Borchard Fairgrounds in Robstown on Tuesday to check in and move in their swine entries for the 79th Nueces County Junior Livestock Show.
The checking in marks the beginning of a week long culmination of a journey that began months ago for each of these participants. Angel Arce, father of Banquete Elementary and Middle School students Ryan, Pete and Carlos, states that he and his children are hopeful for the weigh-in.
"It's been a full time job leading up to Thursday when they show, and then tomorrow (Wednesday) will make or break whether you get in the show; if you make weight or if you get sifted," Arce said. "You shoot for getting a blue ribbon, or getting the grand prize. It's all up to the judge though, it's his decision; not ours. All you can do is go out there and do your best."
The daily chores of raising swine, such as feeding and walking, shaving and clipping, and take care of them have led to a common denominator within the groups of participants - determination and discipline.
Kelsey Lange, nine-year NCJLS participant and member of the Tuloso Midway FFA says her experience has also been fun.
"I've learned responsibility, how to take care of animals and how to treat them well. It's been pretty cool," Lange said. "I feel pretty good. People have told me that I've got a nice pig this year, so I hope I do good."
Market Swine judging will begin on Thursday at 8 a.m. in the Main Arena.