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North Forest FFA holds 47th show

NORTH FOREST – The North Forest Agriculture department and the FFA held their 47th Annual Livestock Show and Sale last Thursday evening, April 16. Students in the program exhibited 34 lots of animals, a few more than last year.

In their welcoming remarks to the audience, students and bidders, North Forest Superintendent Adrain Johnson, and Board of Managers President George McShan, revealed their interest in Agricultural exhibits dated back to their days in high school, when each of them was involved in raising swine for their projects.

Johnson said that he raised a Grand Champion Swine when he was at Frost High School, and McShan said he grew up on a farm near Harlingen, had an Ag degree from Prairie View A & M, and showed a Grand Champion Swine in high school. He also recalled his experience of being at the “New Farmers of America” convention in 1965, when that historical event occurred and it was dissolved in favor of admitting minorities into the FFA organization.

Not to be outdone by his bosses, North Forest High School principal Charles Russell reminisced about his days in East Texas’ Big Thicket area around Sour Lake, when he worked on a farm and gained his appreciation of raising animals as the FFA students do.

During the bidding that followed, a total of $28,500 was bid for the exhibited animals, with “add-ons” after bidding bringing the total raised for the evening to $35,800. This money is used for scholarships and expenses for the students, according to AG advisor Bill Dodd. However, because of the economy and reduced enrollment numbers in the district, bidding and sale amounts were lower.

The Grand Champion Steer sold for $5000, which compared with $5500 last year. The total money bid, $28,500 compared with $39,800 in 2008. Considering that more animals were shown, this would mean that individual prices this year were lower.

It was the culmination of a year of learning and raising their animals for the students, under the direction of AG advisor Bill Dodd. The FFA Event was held at the AG barn, on the campus of the original Smiley High School on Mesa Drive.

Sales were brisk and spirited, as the auction proceeded under the direction of auctioneer Glenn Beckendorff. Exhibit Judges were Jeff McKnight, Steers and Swine; Shane Weldon, Poultry; and Suzanne Fulghum, Horticulture and Rabbits. This judging took place in the two days prior to the auction. Beckendorff, a personal friend and classmate of Dodd, mentioned that he had presided over the North Forest Auction for 25 out of the last 27 years, and always looked forward to it.

Add-ons, a monetary contribution in addition to the auction bids, were made by Capital Bank $150 to each exhibitor, and North Houston Bank, Beasley Tire and Jed’s Hardware.

Bidders this year included Northside Group (North Houston Bank, Jed’s Hardware, Beasley Tire, and Steve Mead/Component Sales & Service), Fred Guidry, Northeast Trailriders Association (Anthony Bruno), Melody Realty, Caldwell Companies, Zolman Construction, Bill & Margaret Ginder, Jed’s Hardware, Larry Prince, Constable Ken Jones, McCauley Lumber, North Houston Bank, Mrs. Hirncer in memory of Barbara Sack, AMS, A-1 Transmission (Kenneth Gibbs), Bill Dodd, Missi Joplin, John McNeil, Capital Bank, Elvin Franklin & Abner Brown, FFA Booster Club, and Allied-Kenco. Also on hand were former students, including John McNeil from the class of 1988, Fred Guidry, Anthony Bruno, Kenneth Gibbs, and Missi Joplin.