Spring High School senior, FFA Chapter President and 2020 Spring Livestock Show Fair Queen Jasmine Moynahan shows off her steer, which fetched the highest price of any animal sold during this year’s online auction.
HOUSTON – May 18, 2020 – With the 69th Annual Spring Livestock Show and Sale held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty and students didn’t know what to expect. The annual springtime event is a beloved tradition with a long history in Spring ISD, but organizers weren’t sure how well the auction would translate to a virtual platform. According to Spring Tri-Club President Courtney Musterman, the results, especially under the circumstances, showed an impressive level of support.
“Our community really came together for this, and it was kind of heartwarming,” Musterman said. “The majority of our big buyers that come out to our actual show did get online, and they still participated the way they normally do, but with it being an online auction we also were able to get some buyers that we’ve never had before, that haven’t come out to our actual in-person auction. So that was kind of neat. It gave some of those people a different way to participate.”
The online show and auction, held April 27-May 2, included more than 130 student submissions, ranging from both small and large livestock to arts and crafts, welding and woodworking projects. In total, winning bids for this year’s items earned $76,630, not counting additional add-on donations made directly to participating students. Students are largely responsible for funding and managing their own projects, and the money earned through the auction helps to fund future projects and, in the case of graduating seniors, their postsecondary education and career training goals.
“The virtual auction was very successful,” said Spring ISD Career and Technical Education Director Cynthia Williams. “If Tri-Club had not used this platform, student projects would not have been sold. All of their time and financial commitments would have been in vain.”
Senior Riley Crump, a student in the Veterinary Sciences Pathway at Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, has participated in the Tri-Club event every year since she joined FFA as a Roberson Middle School eighth-grader. Starting with art projects, she later worked her way up to rabbits and, eventually, to raising her own lamb. Although Crump’s projects didn’t all recoup their costs this year, she said that she and other students were grateful for the support from the community.
“We all understand,” Crump said, “because of the whole coronavirus, but we also thank people who are willing to support us and willing to help us with making sure that we do get money for next year’s projects or for us seniors to go to school.”
Crump said the biggest disappointment – especially for graduating seniors like herself – was missing the chance to gather at the district’s Nagy Pavilion, see the familiar faces of friends and teachers, and enjoy the annual celebration together. Although rivalries are a regular part of the livestock show competition, Crump said the bonds of friendship go even deeper.
“When I tell people about our show, they’re like, ‘Oh, you all are competing against each other,’” she said. “And yeah, we’re competing against each other, but we’re also supporting each other and making sure that we’re all calmed down and that everything’s running smoothly, and helping each other when we need it.”
As they’ve grown older, Crump and her fellow upperclassmen have also enjoyed taking on an added task – mentoring younger students who are still learning the ropes around the district’s livestock barns. For Crump, who plans on majoring in either agricultural science or wildlife management and someday being an educator herself, the mentoring work is all about passing on the tradition.
“We want them to get to know what it’s like being responsible,” Crump said, “but also still having a fun time with everything, taking care of the animals and going to shows, and being able to make friends that can last for a lifetime.”