Buckles & Banners: CHS Students Rule the Stock Show Season


Robin Anders

Senior and FFA president Kaia Anders showing her heifer at a late-January show before winning multiple awards.

The stock show season is upon us. Students all across San Antonio and the Hill Country are showing animals to compete for awards, titles and cash prizes. Over the last week of winter break, the Kendall County Stock Show kicked off the season for CHS agriculture students and FFA members.
“I had students compete in every event except I think breeding sheep and breeding goats,” said agriculture teacher, Ms. Tori Thornton. “We had students in the poultry events, in market swine and breeding swine, market sheep, market goats, in breeding cattle and market cattle, and in the ag mechanics competition.”
Many consider the preparations for these shows to be intense; those who participate put in consistent effort for months beforehand.
“Students get their animals at different times of the year, but generally they’re keeping them anywhere from poultry [which] is about a six week project to breeding cattle which can be up to a two year project,” said Ms. Thornton. “The students work their projects daily, usually multiple times a day, to really get them to be the healthiest.”
Dedication, patience, and the ability to work with animals are required characteristics for many of these students.
“You’re basically taking a wild animal and domesticating it.” said CHS junior Ainsley Rosenow, who shows goats through the youth agriculture program 4-H. “You have to walk them every day and then work on showing them, and you have to do that every day or else you get there and you’re showing them at these big shows and they won’t cooperate.”

Despite the hard work, many students find themselves happily involved in either showing animals or presenting an agricultural mechanics project.
“A few aspects of the stock show life that I love is the atmosphere of the show barn,” said Champion FFA president senior Kaia Anders. “Everyone is high energy at the beginning of the show and kids show throughout the day. Everyone is so supportive.”
Participants start showing their projects in mid-January, and continue to do so for several months with shows every few weeks. These shows can range in importance, with smaller county shows and more major shows occurring within the same season.
“County is almost as big a deal to a lot of them as some of the major stock shows,” said Ms. Thornton. “Because it’s getting to compete against their friends in a healthy competition, but then against people they’ve been competing against since they were younger.”
For most participants, this tradition is one they’ve been a part of for years.
“I’ve been showing [goats] basically my whole life,” said Rosenow. “I think I started in 2nd or 3rd grade, but both my sisters did it before me, so I was born into it and I’ve been doing it pretty much my whole life.”
However, there aren’t nearly as many shows this year as last due to Coronavirus restrictions.
“A lot of shows have been cancelled or restricted the capacity you can have in the barn. So for instance, our county show for Kendall County we had to wear masks the whole time and they separated the show,” said Rosenow. “Usually it’s cattle, pigs, sheep and goats all on the same day, but this year they spread it out. On the day I showed, it was just goats and sheep, and they had the pig show a different day and the cattle show a different day.”
These changes extend to school activities as well.
“Champion hasn’t been able to participate much through our FFA leadership and career development events because they all, for the most part, were canceled,” said Anders.
Despite the pandemic, the tradition of showing livestock and projects in the spring has carried on for yet another year.
“We were really proud of how they did,” said Ms. Thornton. “I really enjoy seeing the students out there, and it’s really their moment to shine.”

(left to right) Bailey Fisher, Cade Vick, Dorman Vick, Marshall Rodriguez, Kohl Kennedy (Dorman Vick)











Dorman Vick













CHS 2021 Kendall County Stock Show Winners


Broiler Projects Tabitha Wilke – 6th overall

Audrey Abrego – 18th overall

Dayanara Torres – 25th overall


Will Peters – Breed Champion Fine Wool

Rodalyn Dunham – Reserve Grand Champion

Scout Schara – Reserve Breed Champion Southdown

Reece Dunham – 1st in class

Brianna Thompson – 3rd in class


Logan Weidenfeller – Reserve Breed Champion

Savannah Drew – 4th place Swine 

Madeline Barber – 3rd in class

Marley Voulgaris – 9th in class

Dylan LeDoux – 11th in class

Cattle – Market

Kaia Anders – 2nd in class

Morgan Buie – 1st in class

Bailey Fischer – 2nd in class – Champion Senior Showmanship Steer

Cattle – Breeding

Kaia Anders – Reserve Exotic Breed – Reserve Grand Champion – Champion Senior Showmanship Heifer

Ag Mechanics (Welding)

Cade Vick – Overall Grand Champion of Show (Bed Frame) – Overall Reserve Grand Showmanship (Bed Frame) – Metal Division Champion (Bed Frame)

Marshall Rodriguez – Overall Reserve Champion of Show (Coffee Table) – Overall Grand Showmanship (Coffee Table) – Reserve Metal Division (Coffee Table)

Bailey Fischer – 2nd in class (Coffee Table)

Kohl Kennedy – 2nd in class (Bed Frame)

— Ms. Thornton