Love of animals started early for FFA student

Arnold Angelo Aureo, Writer

In 6th grade junior Bailey McEntee had her first experience with showing livestock when she exhibited goats. She has been in love with showing livestock ever since.

“I now show cattle, sheep, goats and hogs all over the state of Texas,” McEntee said. “Showing livestock and being involved in FFA has helped me become the best possible version of myself.”

McEntee said she has been around farm animals for as long as she can remember. Her family is mostly farmers and ranchers. 

“We have a ranch in East Texas and take care of commercial cattle as well as quite a few goats,” she said. “I have found a whole other family in the barn, and it feels like my second home.”

McEntee said taking care of all of her animals is not difficult, but it can be tiresome.

“It’s a lot of work, and it’s very time consuming, but it’s not hard to do,” she said. “You basically just have to make sure they eat twice a day, have clean water, have all of their shots and have a clean pen.”

McEntee also said that farm animals have very interesting personalities. Among her favorite animals are sheep because of their amiable personalities. They are also relatively simple to care for.

“The personalities they have are awesome,” she said.  “It’s just really cool to watch them grow and experiment with feed to make them the best that they can be. They (the sheep) are more of a moderate sized animal, so they do not take up a ton of space depending on how many you have.”

Recently, McEntee had a successful showing at the 2021 GISD Local Show.  She won Reserve Champion Laying Hen, Reserve Champion Breeding Gilt, Reserve Overall Breeding Goat Champion, Grand Champion Goat Showman, Overall Grand and Reserve Champion Breeding Sheep, Grand Champion Sheep Showman, Grand Champion Market Sheep, Reserve Overall Beef Heifer Champion, Grand Champion Master Showman, and Premier Exhibitor. 

According to her, the biggest challenge of taking care of livestock is when they are sold. Some of the animals she raises are sold at livestock shows.

“We watched and took care of the animals from birth, so it is hard to see them go,” McEntee said. “We are advised not to be attached to the animals, but it is hard not to.”