Animal magnetism: Harvest Festival a labor of love for ag students | Local News

Animal magnetism: Harvest Festival a labor of love for ag students | Local News

Thirteen-year-old Bre Reynolds started showing pigs when she was just 9.

A student at Union Grove Junior High in Gladewater, Bre is a member of the Junior Future Farmers of America and is participating this week in the Harvest Festival and Livestock Show at the Longview Fairgrounds.

The annual show aims to encourage and support youth in East Texas through agriculture and scholarships.

When scholarships first were awarded in 1975, the first was for $250. A Harvest Festival representative previously said the festival now grants about $64,000 annually in scholarships. 

Bre said Wednesday that she already considering securing a scholarship as she continues to tour the show circuit. But that’s not the main reason she shows her animals.

“I just love everything about it,” she said. “I love hanging out with the pigs and traveling and meeting new judges and things like that. It gives you great opportunities for like college and stuff in the future.”

According to Bre, some colleges have show teams that students can join, which she said is her goal.

She said she showed two pigs at this past week’s East Texas Yamboree in Gilmer — one that won first in class and ninth overall and another that took fifth in class and won showmanship.

On Wednesday, Bre was set to show a six-month-old black pig named Simms in the heavyweight class at the Harvest Festival. She said she hoped for him to place highly and to receive showmanship.

Angela Moyer, 17, is a member of the FFA at Longview High School. She said she’s been showing pigs for four years and started when she was a freshman. 

“I think I just thought pigs were cute, and so I decided I wanted to show one. It was a lot more work than I thought it was gonna be, but it’s also really fun, so I just kind of kept doing it,” Angela said. 

She added that the experience was worth it because it’s helped her be more responsible and knowledgeable about agricultural topics. After starting with show pigs, Angela said she now also shows goats and cows. 

The black pig she showed Wednesday was named Rango and weighed about 240 pounds. Most of the preparation for showing pigs is done as they’re being raised, she said.

“You wanna make sure you’re feeding them right and walking them and training them right and oiling their skin so their skin looks good. And for darker pigs like mine, we have a tanning bed that we put them in,” Angela said. 

She added that tanning beds do the same for pigs as it does for humans — tans the skin darker without burning it.

Moyer was hoping for Rango to make sale and said she sold her first pig for $1,800. Oftentimes, students who participate in the shows will reach out to companies that have agricultural ties, which then help by buying their animals, she said. 

The Harvest Festival continues through Saturday.

For a full schedule, visit .

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Animal magnetism: Harvest Festival a labor of love for ag students | Local News

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