Chris Tarkington

Age: 15
Parents: Steven and Mona Tarkington
Hometown: Beebe, Ark.
FFA Chapter: Beebe FFA
Advisor:  Troy Weatherley

What is your favorite aspect of agriculture?
“We buy four (goat) kids every spring, two of which are my sister’s. I really love learning how to take care of the animals and buying the things they need. I also enjoy training them for showing. I teach them to brace correctly so they show muscle and how to walk in the ring.

What is your current involvement in agriculture, including your daily routine?
“During the school year, I’m up at 6 a.m. to feed the goats. I then pick the feed back up to regulate their food intake so they build muscle rather than fat. Part of the process of raising the show goats also means keeping them in a pen and muzzled so they do not eat grass because grass does not build muscle. This year I might also compete in parliamentary procedure and perhaps livestock judging or meat evaluation later. My mom had some agricultural background, and we really don’t plan on expanding our agricultural activities. Before moving here when I was 8, we lived in a Little Rock (Ark.) to be closer to family and I never was in 4-H because we were town people at heart. Joining FFA changed everything.”

Who is the most influential person in your life?
“My youth pastor, Virginia Brown from the First United Methodist Church in Beebe, sets an example for how faith should work, and I want to be like her. My sister is three years older. She wants to become a veterinarian, took and is still taking classes in high school and introduced me to agriculture and goats.”

What are your future plans?
“I’m rather divided at the moment. I may want to be a vet or I may pursue a career in engineering and attend the University of Arkansas. If I decide to be a vet, I’ll have to go out-of-state, perhaps to Louisiana State University. I like engineering because my dad and I build and design things together. We recently made a shooting bench.”


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