Oklahoma FFA Chapter hosts livestock show for special needs students

Through my work with the Kentucky FFA Association, I have the privilege of working some truly amazing agriculture teachers.SOULS

I get to photograph and video teachers who are changing their students lives every day, both in the classroom and in their FFA activities.

It doesn’t get much better than that!

The biggest FFA event of the year is the Kentucky FFA Convention in June.  As I write this post, that’s a mere 33 days away. (Not that anyone is counting!)

As I’m sure you can imagine, things are starting to get stressful.

On Tuesday morning, I was stressed out about trying to get a big FFA project finished as well as keeping up with my other clients and somehow finding time to write a blog post, all while taking care of a teething Lorelei.

When Aaron called to check in on things before the restaurant opened, I spent the entire conversation complaining about all the things I needed to do and how I had reached the point of being so stressed out that I just wanted to run away.

Instead of joining in on the pity party like I wanted him to, Aaron insisted that I watch a YouTube video come across earlier that morning. He promised it would make me feel better and remind me what really matters.

5 minutes later, my entire outlook on life had changed.

You absolutely MUST watch this video, but to sum it up, the FFA chapter at Noble High School in Oklahoma hosts a livestock show each year for special needs students.

The FFA members pair up with the show participants to teach them how to care for their animals, fit/prepare them for a show and then help them exhibit the animals in a show.

This video touched every sentimental bone in my body.

In 2006, my sister Anna made the Ky State Fair Sale of Champions. Even though she was 11 years old, the banner was almost as long as her.

In 2006, my sister Anna made the Ky State Fair Sale of Champions. Even though she was 11 years old, the banner was almost as long as her.

Having a sister with physical special needs, I’ve seen first hand how livestock shows can be a level playing field for children who often can’t compete in the same way as their peers in sports or other extracurricular activities.

Showing livestock is the only thing that all 5 of the Laurent kids could do together. I can’t even put into words how special that is for our family.

I want to congratulate these amazing agriculture educators and FFA members for making this program a reality for a very deserving group of students.

Words can’t describe the impact you are making on those students and their families.

If you ever need a judge, just let me know. I can’t imagine a higher honor.

Note: I realize that this video is a few years old, but with only 350 views I thought it was a story that hadn’t been shared nearly enough. If anyone knows of any more up to date information about this program, please share it in the comments.


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