For many of the parents and 4-H and FFA students involved, this past weekend was just the beginning of a long stretch of livestock shows that will have them traveling across the state. Toting children, the animals entered in the shows and the endless list of “necessary” supplies that are needed for each show, everyone is gearing up for a long haul. Beginning this weekend with the Fort Worth Stock Show, as many as 75 McCulloch youth will enter one or more of the major stock shows in Kerrville, Fort Worth, Houston, San Angelo and San Antonio. “We have over 70 kids and their families who are going to at least one of these major shows and some are going to several,” said McCulloch County Extension Agent Jerry Kidd. “Beginning this weekend, the county agents and the ag teachers are gearing up for a month-long run that will have us traveling back and forth across the state.” Attending major shows is part of the job for the area ag teachers. For the parents, it is an experience that tests the finances and patience of just about everyone involved. “One of the worst things about going to these big shows is the ‘hurry up and wait’ syndrome,” said Kidd. “My calendar schedule shows that I will be home and not coming from or going to a show, for only three days during the entire month of February.” One of the biggest benefits of attending larger shows is that it teaches teamwork. “There is no way for any of these kids or parents to do everything on their own,” said Kidd. “Once we leave the county, it is a team effort. We all look out for each other and help out in every way we can whether a student is from Lohn, Rochelle or Brady. When we are at the big shows, we are from McCulloch County.” One thing is for certain, come early March when the San Angelo Stock Show ends, there will be several parents and sponsors who will be seeking some much-needed rest.