Unified Lamb and Goat Showmanship Show brings joy to those with disabilities

Organizers plan to hold livestock show twice a year
Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 3:10 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A livestock show featuring participants with disabilities brought so much joy over the weekend that organizers are planning to, not just make it annual, but twice a year.

The Unified Lamb and Goat Showmanship Show Saturday at the Midway FFA barn was a first of its kind hosted by the JMB Fishing Foundation and Midway FFA.

“Looks like with the interest we’ll be doing this twice a year,” said JMB Fishing Foundation’s founder Jimmy Bennett.

Bennett’s foundation focuses on bringing joy to kids or those with illnesses, typically by taking them hunting and fishing.

This was a way he felt kids could be exposed to showing livestock, which was something all agreed they’d never had a chance to do before.

25 participants, some in wheelchairs and others with conditions like autism and Down syndrome, were paired up with high school FFA students to show the livestock.

Addie Wolfe, 9, was a participant. She was born with severe chromosomal abnormalities.

Addie’s mom, Stephanie, is an advocate for those with disabilities and has even authored children’s books to help open up the surrounding conversations.

She said her daughter has never had an opportunity like this before.

“It made it that much more special just something that most kids can participate in if they want and to give kids with special needs that ability to do something that normally they wouldn’t be invited to do,” Stephanie said. “It was just so fun and so special.”

Each participant was given a custom-made belt buckle, an award and a t-shirt.

Organizers say they could never have done it without the support of so many, including sponsors and volunteers.

A local foundation that focuses on helping kids with disabilities or illnesses like cancer is teaming up with a local high school FFA to host a livestock show for kids with disabilities.

The JMB Fishing Foundation, which helps bring happiness to kids through avenues like hunting or fishing, is joining Midway FFA to host the first Unified Lamb and Goat Showmanship Show on Saturday.

The 25 participants are all kids with disabilities from autism to Down syndrome and others who are wheelchair-bound.

JMB Fishing Foundation’s founder Jimmy Bennett said he wanted to offer an event to expose kids to agriculture in ways they’d never been before.