How inflation has impacted FFA and showing livestock


Cheyenne Vickers

Senior Christiana Pitts with her 4th place goat, Peanut, from the Tarrant County Live Stock Show & Youth Fair last March.

Future Farmers of America (FFA) is an organization where students learn and participate in agricultural events. Within FFA, there is a wide range of events, from showing animals to Floriculture competitions.

Inflation has affected people by raising prices, but something that is forgotten when thinking of what inflation has affected this year is that it has also raised livestock prices, feed, and other essential needs to keep the animals alive and ready for showing.

“In the stock show world, you have to feed a high-quality show feed in order to be competitive,” FFA adviser Elizabeth Slough said. “Feed that cost $15 a bag three years ago is now costing $25 a bag.”

FFA shows animals such as chickens, goats, rabbits, and other livestock, but the members don’t always have to sell the animals at the end of the season.

“The process of obtaining livestock has changed greatly. Breeders are found to no longer be selling show animals in a lower budget price range such as $200-$500, this is due to the fact these producers can now send these animals to the sale barn and get the equivale to feed out the lambs or worrying about selling them,” Former FFA president KaytLynn Lemley said. “This allows the producers to focus mainly on selling “higher end” more expensive show stock, with a high margin of profit.”

This graph from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the rise in animal feed prices over the last 11 years.

This issue can make showing animals this year complicated for the students to be able to afford and make a turnaround by selling the livestock at the end of the year.

“This year, I am showing two because of how well I did last year,” FFA president Christiana Pitts said. “I earned money
from the one last year and used that to pay for my goats this year, but if I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t show this year.”

Few students are traveling to show livestock at the stock shows around Texas in order to help keep costs down because livestock prices have risen in the past years. Little can be done to combat the rising livestock prices; however, FFA is still managing to show animals.

“We are unable to attend as many jackpot shows as we were before,” Lemley said. “Due to the increase in essential needs for our show animals such as feed and supplements, this has put a damper on our ability to attend jackpots every weekend for months on end like we used to do. This is mainly due to gas prices being so extremely high.”