Texoma Expo and Livestock Show kicks off in Grayson County

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GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. (KXII) -- The annual Texoma Exposition and Livestock Show kicked off Tuesday morning.

This is the chance for 4-H and FFA students to compete with their livestock and Ag Mechanics projects.

"These kids raise sheep, goats, hogs, cattle and this is kind of the superbowl for that," said Thomas Epting, an Ag Science Teacher and FFA Advisor for Van Alstyne ISD.

For anywhere from nine months to a year, the kids competing at the Texoma Exposition and Livestock Show have been spending hours with their animals prepping them for this moment.

"It has just taught me to be confident in myself and in my own abilities," said Payton, a Junior at Van Alstyne who has been showing pigs for seven years.

They say the work has honed more than ag skills.

"It's great, just this environment. It's just thrilling to be here with everybody," said 11-year-old Will Wilson.

They're learning life lessons about sacrifice and commitment.

"It's the responsibilities. It's the dedication. It's the perseverance. It's not quitting. It's things like that," said Epting.

For Payton, her seven years of showing animals has inspired her future plans.

"For a long time, I've wanted to be a veterinarian. Just because of this and because of watching them work on the different animals and different stuff like that. This has definitely motivated me to do that," said Payton.

And for eleven year old Will Wilson, the junior swine showman champion this year, his family motivated him to seek success and the belt buckle.

"It feels good to finally show my brothers that I finally got one," said Wilson.

Epting believes the lessons kids learn here will carry them through the rest of their lives.

"If they have those skills they can conquer the world," said Epting.

It's teaching them no matter their gender or age, anything is possible.

"You know, FFA in the beginning was just boys and just getting to learn about that and seeing how successful I've been, it just really is cool to see that, you know, we're just as good as them," said Payton.

"Doesn't matter what your size, you can always do whatever you want. Just put your dreams to it," said Wilson.