Livestock show held for special needs students

Livestock show held for special needs students

DUNCAN, Okla. (TNN) -A livestock show for special needs students took place today at the Stephens County Fairgrounds.

The Gold Star Classic Livestock show promotes inclusion in agriculture for all kids.

11-year-old Colt Walker is known as the “cow whisperer” at home. His sister shows cattle, and his mom says the Gold Star Classic is a good way for him to see if he’d like to show one day too.

“To give them that opportunity to even just see what it’s like,” said Cindy Walker. “Whether or not they would be interested in it. And people are welcoming them to come in and be a part of that.”

It’s the second year the American Farmers and Ranchers Insurance has brought the Gold Star Classic to the Stephens County Junior Livestock Show.

“The FFA kids pitch in,” said American Farmers and Ranchers Insurance agent Becky Graham. “They share their animals with the kids. They help them show them. It’s just a way to give them a little something extra to do.”

Graham says her favorite part is visiting with all the kids before and after the show.

“Actually last year, I thought the FFA kids enjoyed it as much as the kids with special needs,” said Graham. “They helped them show of course, but they also visited with them and they interacted with them. And it was good for both sides.”

Walker says it gives Colt the chance to be with his peers, and teaches him how much hard work and dedication goes into showing an animal.

“He knows how hard that they’ve worked and everything and to see them out there in the arena when that animal is finally finished and everything, and cooperative,” said Walker. “But he also gets to see them when they’re not cooperative and how the kids and others handle it. And that teaches them a lot.”

The kids showed their animals, and then got their pictures taken. Graham says they’ll frame the pictures and send them to each of the kids.

The Stephens County Junior Livestock show continues the rest of the week, with cattle shown tomorrow, and the bonus sale will be Friday evening.

The Comanche County Junior Livestock show is next week.

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