Parents: Michael and Chrissy
Hometown: Paris, Ark.
What is your favorite aspect of agriculture?
“All my life I have been around the cattle industry. My father started a small herd that we have grown together as I have grown up. I can still remember getting up early in the morning to feed my first bottle calf when I was 5.”
Who is the most influential person in your life?
“The most influential person is my dad. Since he didn’t start raising cattle until I was young, we learned together and still bounce ideas off of each other. My dad took the lead on designing our corral system, but I take the lead on the nutrient program. I research different feed rations by comparing labels for protein, fat and fiber in conjunction with price. The feed we choose for our cattle can change depending on the season and needs of the herd. I’m thankful that my dad is the manager and allows me to do what I love.”
What is your daily routine?
“Every morning at 6:30, I get up and feed my show cattle. They are tied under shelter to work on halter breaking. After I get out of school, I check their water and give them hay. Our herd is grass-fed, but in the winter we supplement their diet with hay. I also check all of our fresh water tanks. Thankfully we have ponds too so they are able to free drink all day if they want. My father and I work calves together. I get to take the lead on rounding them up, loading them into the chute and administering vaccines. My dad helps when it comes time to band the bull calves. I am involved with my local FFA chapter and have been an officer in the years past. I try to be involved as much as I can in both my school and chapter.”
Describe your competitions
“I show commercial heifers at my local county fair. I have two that I exhibited this current year, Tina and Grace. Tina is an American Cross heifer and Grace is a commercial Charolais heifer. Last year with Tina, I won reserve grand champion. I was really proud of her first show. Grace had her time to shine this year where she placed second in her class. Tina, in her final show, won reserve grand champion again. I enjoy showing because not only do I have the chance to assess my own animal but also to learn from other cattle showers. There is always something new for me to learn or share.”
What are your future plans?
“My two academic favorites are science and agriculture so becoming a veterinarian seems to make the most sense since it puts both of those favorites together. I am considering the U of A or SAU (Southern Arkansas University) for a pre-vet degree before going on to get my DVM degree. I would love to come back and open my own practice in the big city of Paris, Ark., for large animals.”