Brownwood High School ag teachers Cade and Chelsea Wilson know what it takes to compete at a stock show.
In addition to preparing their ag students to compete, they’ve got their own children who are part of the Brown County Youth Fair family — daughters Tynlea, 12, Cyndea, 8, Aynslea, 6 and Whitlea, 3.
The three older girls had a good week at the fair earlier this month, and Whitlea has announced she’ll be showing next year as a Pee Wee exhibitor.
“They don’t want it to be over,” Chelsea Wilson said as she, her husband and daughters sat in the concession area for a few minutes after watching Aynslea show a pig.
Tynlea and Aynslea won five buckles between them. Tynlea won the grand champion and junior showmanship awards for breeding ewe sheep, and Aynslea won the reserve grand champion and pee wee showmanship in the same category. Aynslea also won pee wee showmanship in breeding gilt.
Tynlea has also won a grand championship at a previous Brown County Youth Fair.
This year’s fair represented some “firsts” for two of the Wilson sisters. It was Aynslea’s first time to win a buckle — and she won three.
This year’s fair also marked the first time Cyndea competed in either the Livestock Division or the Home Economics Division. Cyndea showed two lambs, placing first and second in her class, and also ran for Princess in the Home Economics Division. Hutsyn Hohertz went on to win that title.
“She loved every bit of the home ec and the Princess (competition), and did well in the lamb, and ended up more excited than she thought she would be about all that work she did,” Chelsea Wilson said of Cyndea.
“She ran for youth fair Princess and that’s an experience we had never gone through. That was a different side of the youth fair.”
Almost in unison — followed by laughter — the sisters answered “competitors” when asked if they are competitors or sisters in the the show ring.
But, they acknowledged, they’re proud of each other.
The youth fair experience brings confidence and maturity to exhibitors, Chelsea Wilson said.
Cade Wilson said he hopes the effort at competing in stock shows “bleeds over into other things — schoolwork, just general work ethic and responsibility, and knowing they’ve got to complete a job.”
It’s a hard thing to teach that “you can give it everything you’ve got and still come short of your goal,” Cade said. “But you’ve got to just pick up and go on to the next one.”
Cade has judged stock shows at several locations throughout Texas and in other states, and at the Brown County Youth Fair, he mentally judges along with the judge in the ring.
“Everybody has different preferences,” Cade said. “I can see the big picture. A certain judge may prioritize a certain trait differently than I would.
“You can definitely see the big picture, why they do things the way they do — not to say everybody would do it the same way.”
As he watches a show, Cade said, “you evaluate and kind of come up with your favorites from ringside. They vary (from the actual judge) — not tremendously, maybe a first from a second or a first from a third, but it’s never a 10th from a third.”
Cade and Chelsea Wilson are from San Antonio and in their seventh year of teaching at Brownwood High School. They have been educators a total of 15 years.
When asked what it takes to succeed as a stock show competitor, the girls nearly answered at the same time: a lot of hard work.
Whitlea will be just 4 next year when she competes for the first time as a pee wee exhibitor. “She thinks she is just as big as the others and was so sad when the youth fair was over,” Chelsea Wilson said.