Chris Van Horne, NBC 5 Fort Worth Reporter
It was livestock appreciation day at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo Thursday.
The Fort Worth Stock Show is not just an educational and entertaining experience, it also is an important event for the agricultural industry.
The annual event is certainly about giving educational opportunities to youth from across the state and around the country, but the show is as much about keeping the agricultural industry moving as it is about winning best in show.
Raising livestock presents a lot of positives for National FFA Organization and 4-H students -- just ask Brian Rogers of College Station.
"It teaches our kids responsibility," Rogers said. "Not only responsibility, but it teaches them competitiveness. I mean, not every kids is going to go out and win the show, so it teaches them how to be a good winner, how to be a good loser."
Rogers said he hopes his daughter's Red Angus heifer, Firefly, will do well in this year's show, but he knows the real benefit having done shows himself as a child.
"It's a lifelong relationships that you build starting right here," he said.
The stock show is about networking and selling one's breed as much as it is about winning.
"Commercial production has to have a bull to get a cow bred to produce beef," said Kerry Cornelius, TCU Ranch Management program director. "And so when you look at these main purebred breeds and these purebred shows, they've got a strong connection."
It's a connection not easily put into dollars and cents, but one Jack Chastain, who has helped run the Texas Hereford Association the last 40 years, said is crucial to those who make a living off livestock like these.
"Our breeders and seed stock bring their cattle to the public and let more people see them at one time then they could at their individual ranches," Chastain said. "It's also a competition to see who can breed and develop the best cattle."
The shows also can determine which breeds are doing well and becoming more popular. And where one finishes in the showing will also have an affect on the price they can get -- whether it's for the cow, its calves or for its beef.
"This is a prestige event," Cornelius said. "And obviously anyone that wins in Fort Worth that's a big plus in their marketing arena."
Thursday marked the seventh day of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.