LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Hundreds of local students and animals made their way to Burton Coliseum for the Calcasieu Parish Livestock Show. 4-H and FFA students ages 9-years-old through high school were showing their product after a year of hard work.
"We have raised these animals in some cases and we have been working with them for months. It takes hours a day to work with your pig so you can have complete control like this. I've been doing this since I was 3 years old," said David Kershaw, Iowa High School Junior.
Like Kershaw most of his fellow competitors started showing livestock at an early age.
"My brother did it, my dad did it. So it's tradition," said Quincy Landry, Iowa High School Senior.
"My dad told me when I was younger I was going to be able to show a calf and name it myself. So I said okay and I got started then I was hooked," said Shelby Miller, Iowa High School Senior.
More than 260 animals were sold this weekend at market proving Calcasieu's Livestock Show is the largest parish livestock show in the state of Louisiana.
"We have over 500 animals shown annually and we have about 400 exhibitors. You will see everything here from goats, pigs, sheep, cows, chickens and rabbits," explained Jimmy Meaux, 4-H LSU Ag Center Calcasieu Parish.
Meaux said the students who place are awarded money and if they make a sale the proceeds are generally put towards what they owe on their feeding bill and college. Meaux said it also helps the students to grow in many different areas.
"I plan to put some away for college. I want to continue to work with animals and one day be a veterinarian," said Kershaw.
"Some of the students may not pursue a career in agriculture but it's a tool to them develop themselves with life skills and learn to be responsible and grow through the years," said Meaux.
The students will tell you they like the competition and making new friends.
"I think the major goal is to do the best I can. I mean it's really competitive but I mostly compete with myself," said Miller.
Next week the competition continues as the students gear up for the five-parish Southwest District Livestock Show and Rodeo. Winners from that show head to state competition.