Eddie Lampp doesn't see his daughter Morgan very much these days.
For one, she's a junior in school, and that takes up her time. So does the ag mechanics project she's building for the upcoming shows in San Antonio and Houston. And it's not enough that she's in FFA — she's also an officer and a member of the livestock judging team.
On top of it all, she's showing two projects in this month's Hopkins County Junior Market Livestock Show, sponsored every year by the Northeast Texas Livestock Association.
"She's up at 5:30 every morning before school, down at the barn feeding and taking care of them," said her father, Eddie Lampp, who is helping organize this year's stock show. "As soon as she's out of school, she's back down there taking care of them."
The annual stock show, held at the Civic Center, continues to climb in numbers. Already this year, 307 projects by 257 students have been certified for the event, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 26, through Saturday, Feb. 28, concluding that Saturday night with the Sale of Champions.
Eddie Lampp said all the work his daughter puts into the show is a good thing.
"She really enjoys it, and it's taught her a lot of responsibility," he said. "And she sees some payback from it — she's getting a college fund set up, and is still hoping to put some more into it this year and next year.
"And it's the same with all the kids. That's primarily what they're doing — sticking it back for college."
The show set an astounding record with 135 sales lots in 2006, the first year the Sale of Champions topped the $200,000 mark. It was a tremendous increase from just a few years before, when barely half as many students took part, and the prize money was a fourth of what it is today.
Last year, however, was an even bigger stunner, with $267,567 generated for the 131 sales lots that made the Sale of Champions.
"We'd like to see that again this year, but with the economy, you never know," Lampp said.
About 100 people, businesses and organizations provided money used in the Sale of Champions last year, some buying projects outright, others pooling their resources together.
"And there are a lot of buyer pools we have for people who don't feel like they can buy an entire project," Lampp said. "They're also doing add-on monies. People who have limited funds might just want to consider doing add-ons."
Anyone that wants to participate in the sale or needs more information about the show can call NETLA at 903-439-5308; Lampp at 903-885-6323; Frank Long at 903-885-7800; Dannie Johnson at 903-885-2158; Brad Johnson at 903-885-3143; of the Agri-Life Extension office, 1200 Houston St. (the former location of the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce office) at 903-885-3443.
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