Students from all over Atascosa County are scrambling to get ready for the upcoming Atascosa County Livestock Show beginning January 15 and three from Charlotte are all set to go. Seniors Elijah Reyna and Mari Cantu and Sophomore Joshua Reyna have been busy preparing their swine since September in hopes of placing at this year’s show.
“I’ve been showing since maybe the third grade,” Cantu said, “I lived in Pleasanton before here and did it there, and I moved to Charlotte and have been showing ever since.” Cantu will be showing two swine this year at the ACLS, along with the Reyna brothers, as she has since she began showing years ago. She has always shown swine, never any other animals, nor has she ever taken an interest in the Ag Mechanics portion. “I love getting close with the animals, it’s my favorite part.” Cantu plans to pursue a career in the agriculture field once she graduates from high school in May.
Elijah is a part of the Ag Mechanics program at CHS, which unfortunately will not be participating in this year’s show due to funding not being available to finish in time. Back in 2016, he was a part of the six man Charlotte FFA Xtreme Tiny House Team that placed first in the San Antonio Stock Show Outdoor and Gardening group. This year, he will be participating in animal showing only. “The first year I showed chickens and rabbits and these last two years I chose to show swine,” said Reyna, “It takes more preparing to show them than the chickens and rabbits, which makes it more of a challenge for me.” Reyna plans on attending Palo Alto after graduation and pursue a career as a game warden. Showing alongside him this year is his younger brother Joshua.
“My favorite part is the excitement of showing, it’s just overall fun and enjoying to do,” Joshua said. This will be his second year showing at the ACLS. “Elijah and I prepare together so our process is the same. We’ve been working since September to get our animals ready.” As a sophomore, Joshua sees participating in the stock show as more of a hobby with a little insight to a future in the field. Next year, he plans to participate in the Ag Mechanics portion by building a gooseneck trailer. “It seems hard at first, but it turns out to be really fun and enjoyable in the end.”
Roy Reyna is the Ag/FFA teacher at Charlotte High School. “Being the only Ag teacher, my goal is getting the Ag/FFA program back on track. I just want to thank everyone who has been supporting the FFA program here,” he said. Reyna has been with CHS for three years now, and despite the challenges he has faced throughout the years, he still remains supportive and encouraging of the program and his students. “[They] have been working hard to compete in the show. I feel they will represent our program very well.” Mr. Reyna is also the father to Elijah and Joshua. Good luck to these three students as they finish their final preparations for the 2018 Atascosa County Livestock Show! If you have any or know of a student with a great ACLS story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.