Path Home Shows 2015 Show Archive February 2015 Show 1507 OSU Special Needs Livestock Show

OSU Special Needs Livestock Show

A Stillwater, Okla., livestock show for students with special needs highlights their showmanship in the show ring.
OSU Special Needs Livestock Show

OSU Special Needs Livestock Show

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OSU Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity

Show Details

Show 1507: OSU Special Needs Livestock Show
Air Date: February 15, 2015



Rob McClendon: Well, the livestock show industry is big business in Oklahoma. But for one annual show in Stillwater, their focus is on students with special needs. Joining me now is our Courtney Maye.

Courtney Maye: The heart of a champion livestock show gives students with special needs a hands-on opportunity to learn about agriculture. The students show sheep, pigs and goats with help from experienced showmen – a learning experience you can’t find in a classroom.

Blayne Horn: I’ve done this since I was about 4 years old, and you’re doing twice as a good a job I ever did.

Courtney: It’s show day in Stillwater, Okla., and for students like Jessica it’s time to show their talents.

You saw, you think he saw? There he goes.

Come on Jessie, let’s go catch up with ’em.

Courtney: And with help from members of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, local students with special needs are given the opportunity to shine.

Blayne Horn: We invite the kids from Stillwater Public Schools, the special needs kids, to come out here and show these animals. It gives ’em the opportunity to have a hands-on experience that a lot of us grew up with but a lot of times these kids never had the opportunity to, but it also allows us to promote agriculture.

Give me a high five for that one.

Courtney: Students are able to show pigs, sheep and goats provided by Stillwater FFA. And with a goal other than winning in mind, special needs instructor Beth Helm is confident they have achieved it.

Beth Helm: It brings out a lot in these kids, a lot of kids that are nonverbal, a lot of kids that have problems sitting down and stuff, animals have a really interesting affect on students with disabilities, and we’ve seen that more and more.

Courtney: Much like the relationship Jessica has with the pig she named Pritz. Driving Pritz around the ring while giving him a pep talk – a people-animal bond that has an everlasting affect.

Helm: A lot of them will come out of their shell. They’ll even try to talk a little bit. They’ll, they’ll show a little more emotion towards animals. They just make ’em feel really comfortable.

Courtney: And Helm says many of her students leave the livestock show wanting to join an agriculture education class – a field trip that could introduce some students to their future, while rewarding to the members of Alpha Gamma Rho.

Horn: It builds a lot of professionalism and things that these guys are gonna take away and use whenever we get out of school in the real world.

Courtney: An opportunity that makes everyone a winner.


Courtney: None of this would have been possible without the help of the local Stillwater FFA chapter, who provided the animals for the students to show. And, Rob, after the show, each of the participants were awarded a super showman ribbon ensuring everyone went away a winner.

Rob: Well, certainly a great program and a nice story. Thank you so much, Courtney.

Courtney: You’re welcome, Rob.