This is a series of stories highlighting high school students from the Brazos Valley who are active in 4-H or FFA. The series, which is sponsored by capital Farm Credit, will culminate with one of the featured students receiving a $3,000 scholarship.
(29) updates to this series since
In addition to participating in shows, Lackey has competed on the Caldwell FFA poultry judging team.
After graduation, McGuire said, he will be attending Texas A&M to study ag systems management, which he described as the engineering side of agriculture — taking ideas of how to make things better and developing them.
Chrane has participated in multiple extracurricular activities while at Franklin High School, including cheerleading, but said she never felt anything was her “thing” until taking agriculture classes.
His projects have earned him ag mechanics grand champion honors three times, reserve champion twice and showmanship once at the Burleson County Fair.
What started as a mistake in Normangee High School senior Jade Williams’ schedule her freshman year has led to a future career as an advocate for agriculture.
Ezzell called the growth she has seen in herself “miraculous.”
During her four years in Rudder FFA, she also has participated in horse judging, along with the principles class, chapter conducting, horticulture, small animal management, cotton judging, floral design, wildlife and a veterinary medicine classes.
College Station High School senior Cody Poole first became involved with raising chickens as an elementary student and now plans to make it a career.
Sanders said she has learned how to be a hard worker through FFA and 4H, having to take care of her animals, prepare for competitions and get things ready for chapter meetings.
Although she is not planning to pursue a career in agriculture, she said, a scholarship would help her achieve her goals and show others that ag is not limited to those who choose to pursue it as a career.
The daughter of an animal science professor, Herring grew up on 100 acres in Franklin and watched her older siblings compete in 4-H and FFA organization contests. It was always her choice if she wanted to follow in their path.
Through 4-H, she said, she has learned to teach in a constructive way and how to take random people and make them work together as a team. She does not hold a leadership position in the FFA chapter, she said, but ranking horses in horse judging competitions has helped her become more confident in her opinions and public speaking skills.
A self-proclaimed introvert, Hennard said she learned she does not have a problem talking to people and teaching them if it is about something she loves, like plants.
Young, who finished her CSHS course work in December, did not take any ag courses her freshman year, but she enrolled after seeing and hearing about her friends’ positive experiences.
During her time in 4-H and then FFA, Blaha has shown commercial heifer and rabbits and participated in floral design events and programs.
During her four years in FFA, she has been involved with creed speaking and the vet tech career development events and has served as an officer in the CSHS FFA chapter the past two years, this year as secretary.
Novosad, a senior at Caldwell High School and a member of the school’s FFA program, said she grew up on her family’s multi-generation ranch in Burleson County, riding around the pastures and learning the different aspects of the ag industry.
Her goal is to become a county extension agent, she said, where she can help bridge the gap between consumers and producers, educate the community about ag and get people involved through 4-H.
Hannah Shaw is not a traditional FFA student. She did not get involved until her junior year and has not shown animals.
It was never a question of if Tyler Towns would get involved in ag, but when. For the Rudder FFA senior, that moment came in elementary school when he joined the Junior FFA program.
“I really ended up falling in love with agriculture and being around the animals,” Odenbach said. “It just became a part of my life and who I was. I loved it so much, so I was kind of glad I got to share the love of agriculture with my parents and myself, and even my grandparents.”
Bryan High School FFA senior Pablo “Trey” Vargas grew up with an agricultural background and after four years in the FFA program, tries to help educate others and advocate for the industry whenever he can.
Since entering high school four years ago, Fox said, he has taken just about every ag class Consol offers, including animal science and floral design.
Suehs began showing heifers and turkeys in elementary school, and his involvement in 4-H and FFA has helped him learn more about leadership and the business side of the beef and ag industry, he said.
Rudder High School senior Weston McElroy grew up around agriculture, but it was not until he and his family moved to Bryan from Virginia that he took a more active role in the industry.
Through the Brazos County 4-H and Rudder FFA programs, she has learned how important it is to get kids involved and to understand the industry.
In her 11 years in youth agriculture organizations, she has had many projects, such as showing rabbits and participating in food and nutrition and photography contests. However, her favorite projects are poultry and meat judging.
A $3,000 scholarship, he said, would help him take pressure off his parents as he plans to attend Texas A&M to pursue a degree and career in agricultural engineering.