STILLWATER — Clark Bixler, an Oklahoma State University senior majoring in agricultural economics, started showing livestock at age 7.
Now Bixler, 21, and other members of Alpha Gamma Rho at Oklahoma State University want to provide that experience for special needs children from the Stillwater area. The children will get the opportunity to exhibit livestock at their own stock show at 10 a.m. Friday at the Payne County Expo Center, 4518 Expo Circle East.
The “Heart of a Champion Show” is organized by the fraternity.
Bixler, the show director, said there likely will be two fraternity members helping each child show an animal during the event.
“There are some special needs kids who have shown livestock, but I don't believe any of these kids have,” Bixler said. “Most of us within Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity grew up raising and showing livestock. We know what impact that had on our lives, having that sense of responsibility and pride in an animal and a project.
“We just wanted to offer that to these special needs children,” Bixler said. “These children will have their very own livestock show where they get to take these animals into the show ring and present them before a judge.”
The students will be provided livestock to show. They will be awarded blue ribbons, T-shirts, hugs and pictures, he said.
Alpha Gamma Rho at OSU organizes a cattle show each December called Winter Bonanza. High school students come from across the nation for the show, Bixler said. More than $30,000 is given to the participants each year, as well as two scholarships for the winners to use at the college of their choice.
The annual event will be Saturday and Sunday at the Expo Center. This year, the fraternity made the decision to add Friday's special livestock show.
“Hopefully this is something that we can keep doing in the future,” Bixler said. “Our whole goal is to be able to provide a memorable experience for these children and their families as well.”