First Time High Point Winner for Groveton FFA
The tension mounted as everyone sat on the edge of their seats as the finalists names were called at the Junior Commercial Steer Feeding and Management Contest Banquet that was held last Wednesday, March 10 at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Reliant Arena. Five Groveton FFA students participated in this year’s commercial steer contest and one of them was in the “Top 8.” Competition was extremely fierce as 110 contestants vied for the coveted “Top 8” positions. It is an honor to even be one of the “Top 8.” Before the finalists were announced though, contestants, their parents, ag teachers and rodeo officials enjoyed dinner together, a speech given by Mr. Ross Wilson (President and CEO of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association), and numerous other awards that had to be given out before it was time for the ever-anticipated “big moment.” Tyler Rosser, a senior at Groveton High School, has been one of those “Top 8” for the last three years – a record in itself. For two years in a row, Tyler has placed 8th. Tyler’s goal going into this year’s competition was just to be “anything but 8th!” So, after the 8th place winner was announced, he and everyone that was in attendance from Groveton – breathed a large sigh of relief. “Everything’s good now,” Tyler said, “I’ll be happy with anything.” He sat back to relax for a moment – just a moment. Then they read the 7th place winner & then the 6th. Everyone at the table looked around at each other amazed and excited and couldn’t believe what they were hearing. The tension kept mounting. Fifth place was read, then 4th. Hearts were beating, hands were shaking and huge smiles were on everyone’s faces. Not only had Tyler beaten his record of being 8 of the “Top 8,” but he had just been guaranteed one of the three top coveted spots – all with great prizes to accompany the honor. The first place winner of this grand event would drive off in a new pick-up truck. And the 3rd place winner was…a student from Halletsville. Years of hard work and effort had just paid off as Tyler was guaranteed to be the first or second place winner. Everyone held their breath as the second place winner’s name was called and it was - “Tyler Rosser of the Groveton FFA!” The Junior Commercial Steer Contest is quite a serious and rigorous event. Not only do students raise their animals, they must also keep record books, be interviewed, and have a wealth of knowledge on the subject of commercial steers that they are intensively tested over. The commercial steer program at GHS has been building and improving every year with a list of accomplishments that continues to grow. In years past, students from GHS have won Herdsman awards, Jr. & Sr. Rookie awards, and Best Carcass awards. There have also been winners for best record books, Best Pen of Steers and other students have also made it into the finals. The feat that Tyler accomplished, how-ever, was the highest place award in the history of Groveton’s FFA program and will make other teams sit up and recognize the program as a serious contender. Several individuals are responsible for the growth of this project. Mr. Larry Forten-berry puts extensive time and effort into this program, teaching these students and helping them to be successful. His wife, Mrs. Jane Fortenberry, donates her time to help students set up their record books and get their facts and figures straight. Mr. Don Hamilton also helps these students by reviewing and checking over their record books to make sure everything is in order. Many other contributors help during classes held after school to provide these students with the knowledge they will need to compete. All of those involved are to be commended and given a hearty thanks for the time and energy they put into providing these future leaders with such an outstanding opportunity to learn and grow. The whole Commercial Steer Team from Groveton High School for the 2009-2010 school year was Lee Burchett, Kacie Due, Cody Hill, Jackson Pruitt and Tyler Rosser. All of these students worked hard and several came very close to making “Top 8.” We wish them luck and we will see great things from those who will be returning next year. Tyler, as a graduating senior, has a once-in-a-lifetime memory upon which to look back on and be very proud of what he accomplished. As a “Top 8” finalist, Tyler received a finalist plaque. As a second place winner, he received a plaque, a banner and a very unique Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo trophy and was also awarded an extensive top-of-the-line Dell laptop package and a cash prize. His awards will come in very handy next year as he heads off to become a freshman at Texas A&M University where he wants to study Agri-Business and Economics and hopes to someday be in a position to influence agricultural policy making in our state. Tyler Rosser is the son of Brett and Laura Rosser of Groveton, Texas, and Rhonda and Steven Murray of Houston. He is also the grandson of Joe and Donna Rosser, also of Groveton.