The sounds and smells of goats, pigs, turkeys, cows and other farm animals will fill the air this weekend, as students from both Tomball high schools diligently prepare for the annual Tomball Future Farmers of America (FFA) project sale and show.
This year brings the 37th incarnation of the event, which allows FFA members to show and hopefully sell the animals they spent all year raising, feeding and caring for. The event will be held Jan. 25 and 26 at the Tomball ISD Project Center, at 30330 Quinn Rd.
"It gives kids the opportunity to become involved in FFA and teaches them a lot about responsibility and handling money," said Jimmy Vaculin, former Tomball FFA teacher and president of the Tomball High School FFA Booster Club.
Vaculin said the program also helps students build friendships and teaches them how to be a part of an organization.
'They develop camaraderie with one another," he said.
Tomball Memorial FFA Booster Club President Lesley Chronister agreed and said the students look forward all year to the show.
"It's a huge deal," she said. "The kids raise their animals all throughout the year with this show as the goal."
The show and its live auction provide funds for both schools FFA programs, as well as a majority of the funds for the Tomball FFA college scholarship program.
"The kids are able to get a lot of the money back they spent raising the animals and a lot of the funds go directly towards the scholarship fund for seniors," Chronister said.
Last year the show brought in more than $500,000 for the program and scholarship fund and the group hopes to do at least that this year.
Chronister's son Colby said that FFA has taught him lessons he will be able to carry throughout his life.
"I wanted to raise animals because I thought it would be fun, but doing this has taught me responsibility, how to care for an animal and motivated me to keep my grades up so I can show my animals," he said.
Colby Chronister said the show is not only hard work, but fun as well.
"It's fun meeting all the new people and the competition it brings, as well as seeing everyone else's projects." he said.
The show's schedule for Jan. 25 includes rabbits being shown at 11 a.m., followed by broilers at 1 p.m., with turkeys to follow, then market swine at 4 p.m. On Jan. 26 market lambs will be shown at 8 a.m. and market steers at 10:30 a.m. The Buyer's Barbecue will be open from 3:30-5 p.m., with the live auction to immediately follow.
For more information visit www.tomballffa.net.