See how benefit concert Saturday can help local Future Farmers of America students

Published 3:05 pm Friday, April 24, 2020

Billy Bob’s Texas and Cavender’s is hosting a free, donation-based virtual concert Saturday night to benefit the Texas Future Farmers of America Foundation.

The virtual benefit concert will be streamed live on Billy Bob’s Texas Facebook Page at 7 p.m.

The “You’re Still Farming, We’re Still Singing” lineup includes artists such as Aaron Watson, Casey Donahew, Cody Johnson, Koe Wetzel, Pat Green and more.

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The concert is free to enjoy, but donations are encouraged. Funds go directly to the non-profit 501(c)(3) Texas FFA Foundation organization.

Amanda Word, FFA advisor and teacher in the Nederland Independent School District, said it is wonderful to have organizations such as these benefitting the local communities.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “Without some of these organizations, a lot of these programs would be suffering more than they already are. So to have these companies and CEOs help the scholarship programs and still host meetings, it’s allowing students to move forward in the future of agriculture.”

Roughly 40 students from third to 12th grades in the district saw their season cut short after the effects of the coronavirus caused the cancellation of major shows such as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the YMBL South Texas State Fair.

“It did hurt our kids,” Word said. “You raise these animals for so many months, sometimes even a year or more, and we weren’t able to even show. It was rough on them and their parents of course.”

Students show a range of animals from pigs, lambs, chickens, goats and steer. Fortunately, Nederland’s 14 high school students were able to sell all of their animals locally.

Word said they were blessed to have multiple buyers.

“We were able to sell some animals to new pastures, others were adopted, but they all found new homes,” she said. “We were very blessed. If we didn’t have them sold, I don’t know what we would be doing right now. We’re lucky.”

Word said students are already beginning to bounce back and are excited for showing next year.

“For how crazy it is, it’s going OK,” she said. “We’re pushing through. Our kids are bouncing back, cleaning out the barns and getting things ready for next year. It’s crazy times, but the kids are doing well with it. I am very proud of them for that.”

Aaron Alejandro, executive director of the foundation, said the support is helping make Texas a better place to live, work and raise families.

“Texas is blessed with three vital and renewable resources: youth, agriculture and leadership,” he said. “Our program empowers the dreams of our members today, ensuring they are dynamic influencers in the future. Together we will help our students be resilient today, so they will be stronger leaders tomorrow.”