Cornerstone 4-H member Dakota Becker won the Grand Championship Skill-a-thon on day one of the 67th annual Hood County Junior Livestock Show’s 2022 in Granbury Tuesday.
The 2022 show features 782 entries, and it was Becker, 15, who kicked off the day’s list of champions when she bested the field in the skills test over livestock care.
It’s been a long haul for the newly crowned champion who has been taking part in livestock care since she was a Clover Kid.
“You study for the test that covers animals, farm equipment and different feeds,” Becker said. “There is also a meat judging portion.”
Had her winning a grand championship sunk in Tuesday afternoon?
“Probably not. I thought I might do well, but I didn’t think I would win, so I am pretty excited about it,” Becker said.
This is Becker’s first-ever champion buckle and the teen studied with note cards going through “them over and over,” and Becker shared her thoughts about younger kids getting involved in 4-H and FFA programs.
“Even if you don’t think you have a chance, you should try it. I have been trying for a lot of years, and this is the first buckle that I have won. Don’t give up because you always have a chance if you work hard,” Becker said.
There are multiple levels of experience at this year’s show, and Kenzie Prock, a junior at Granbury High School, has been involved with FFA for three years and is in her second year of showing rabbits.
Prock’s grandfather Don and her dad David both showed livestock when they were younger and have passed on their advice and experiences to Kenzie, who talked about when she first got her rabbits.
“The first day or so, you settle them in and make them feel at home and then get them on their feed and water,” Prock said. “You work at handling them constantly, but not like you would a pet. You must handle them like a show animal.”
The entirety of Hood County is being represented this year, and Tolar FFA students Kyli Meyer and Audry Dobbs spent some of their time before the show discussing rabbits and their care.
“I like looking around and seeing all the other rabbits and how they are cared for,” Meyer said.
The 3rd grader looked up to Dobbs, who has a little more experience as a 7th grader.
“I really enjoy being involved in FFA because it has made me confident in myself,” Dobbs said. “It’s fun to have younger kids take part and help them learn about it, too.”
The 67th annual Hood County Junior Livestock Show continues until Jan. 8. Wednesday’s lineup includes sheep and goat shows.
Russell@hcnews.com | 817-573-7066 ext. 231