Cuatro, a junior at A.C. Jones High School, will be competing for his eighth year in the show.
Cuatro now shows five animals, but that first show eight years ago began with just one variety.
“My dad wanted to raise pen heifers, so I started with commercial heifers,” Cuatro said.
His second year, Cuatro expanded to steers.
“It just took off from there,” he said.
By the third year, Cuatro was traveling to San Antonio and other cities to show. The young showman was now dedicating most of his extracurricular time to the livestock world.
“I quit all sports to show,” Cuatro said. “I’ve got something in the barn all year.”
Cuatro said he will be showing goats, lambs, steers, heifers and pigs this year.
The pigs are a new addition, bought spontaneously in Iowa by a family member.
One of the junior’s major highlights has been winning at the State Fair in 2009.
“I won with my lamb,” said Cuatro. “It was a big highlight.”
In addition to showing animals himself, Cuatro participates in Future Farmers of America judging contests, in which he must decide which animal is best out of a group.
It’s not a bad gig.
“You can win scholarship money or a certificate to buy an animal,” said Cuatro.
The junior is the vice president of his FFA chapter, the vice president of his 4-H chapter, and one of about 20 4-H livestock ambassadors for the state of Texas.
“We help novice 4-H’ers and report back to increase 4-H enrollment,” Cuatro said.
The assignment has taken him all over the state and even a little outside of it.
Between these duties and showing his animals, Cuatro is constantly traveling.
“I’ve done this since I was little,” he said. “I’m always on the road.”
In fact, the showman just returned from a contest in Denver, Colo., where he placed second in his class with a steer.
Amidst all of his activities, Cuatro is already being wooed by university agricultural programs.
The junior said he has visited with scouts from Clarendon College, Tarleton State University and Texas A&M University, but he has not yet decided what he wants to do after high school.
One thing he does know — he will continue to show animals as long as he can.
“You can show steers until you’re 21,” Cuatro said. “I’ll do it until I’m too old.”
Sarah Taylor is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or sarah@mySouTex.com.