Heartbreak Amid Cancelled Farm Show: "This Is My Last Year to Show"

Houston Stock Show Canceled
Courtesy: Stephanie Crownover ( Courtesy: Stephanie Crownover )

Fears of the coronavirus is causing event cancellations across the country. One of the most high-profile events in farm country affected right now is the Houston Livestock show and Rodeo. It was cancelled this week right in the middle of the show. Some producers had to pack up and leave for home while others didn’t even make the trip.

It’s been a long trip for some families on the road to the Houston Stock Show and Rodeo. It was a 10-hour trek for Jay Johnson of Happy, Texas. His kids, who also traveled with friends, were supposed to show heifers at the show. They unloaded for a couple of hours then had to get back on the road.

“We loaded and headed down to Houston,” says Johnson. “[We had] heifers on the trailer for about 12 hours. We weren’t on the grounds very long when we found out the show had been cancelled.”

Shelby Wachter is on the judging team at the University of Nebraka-Lincoln. Her judging team didn't even get on the road before the show was cancelled. She says it would have been a good opportunity for the collegiate judgers to compete against other universities.

“While this isn’t my last judging contest in college, I’ll have another semester,” says Wachter. “This is [known to be the show that] ends off the semester before I go into the summer.”

Connor Crownover is a senior from Sunray, Texas. He has been showing pigs for over a decade and has attended all of the major livestock shows and competitions.

“You’re in there feeding them, brushing them and walking them,” says Crownover. “You’re in there [dedicating your time] an hour to two hours per day. This is my last year to show.”

Crownover says he had hopes to do well in Houston.

The show also usually offers financial incentives such as college scholarships to the winners. Some of those financials are awarded to inner-city kids in Texas too.


Picture courtesy: Stephanie Crownover