For the second year in a row, Harper Dredla, age 9, is participating the Nueces County Junior Livestock show. This cold, rainy week in January has been a part of her family for a long time, since her mother and father participated in the show when they were young.
Dredla is in the fourth grade at Banquete Elementary School and is a member of the Banquete Junior FFA. This year, she raised a pig, submitted three homemaking entries and also made a tree-less tree house as a shop project.
Raising a pig has taken up a good part of Dredla’s fall and winter, but it is something that she enjoys doing with her grandfather.
“When I got the pigs they were really small. They loved to run around and squeal,” said Dredla.
Dredla raised two pigs, but chose her best to show in the NCJLS. She felt her best option was a pig named Maggie, a play on her beloved Texas A&M Aggies. The pigs were fed twice a day and walked once a day to prepare them for the show ring.
“The pigs eat oats, pellets and protein, but sometimes it changes depending on their weight,” Dreda explained. “We want our pigs to have muscles and to be long.”
In addition to her animal project, Dredla spent time working with her father on a tree house. A project that took them approximately 40 hours.
“I was happy because I got to learn about measuring and use all kinds of saws. I got to use a miter saw, table saw and jig saw,” said Dredla.
Baking was also a time to learn things and spend time with family, two of Dredla’s favorite parts of the stock show. Dredla entered two different types of cookies and an applesauce bread into the homemaking section of the show.
“My Grammy helped me bake my entries. It was fun to measure those ingredients, too,” said Dredla.
For Dredla, the opportunity to participate in the NCJLS gives her a chance to learn new things and spend time with her friends and family.
“I think the livestock show helps kids learn how to take care of animals and to be responsible. I think it also teaches them a lot,” said Dredla.
The final sale for the show is Saturday and those who qualified will be able to sell their projects to the highest bidder, earning them college funds or seed money for their next show project. For more information on the show, check out www.ncjls.org.