Erin-Elizabeth Purcell – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – The opening of the Manatee County Fair marks the busiest time of the year for around 50 LRHS agriculture students.
Mustangs will exhibit in the fair for all kinds of livestock including steers, dairy heifers, and pigs.
Mustangs in this program have been raising, caring for, feeding, grooming, and prepping these animals all year long for this short two-week period before they are sold.
“Showmanship competitions are a very formal thing. The way it works is students are placed in front of a panel of judges who will then place their animal in a class in order of different favored qualities for the livestock being shown,” explained agriculture teacher James Wheeler.
Steer and dairy heifer exhibitor senior Madeline Fields said, “I participate in the fair because I truly enjoy raising a new animal and bonding with them. It is a life changing experience.”
Agriculture teacher McKenzie Gorsky added that excitement doesn’t diminish as a teacher.
“It’s a different experience participating in fair as an adviser because I’ve done all the work I can do, but watching my students see the results of all the work they have put in is rewarding on a different level,” said Gorsky.