I started showing Angus cattle when I was 10 years old in 4-H, and it has made my future a lot brighter. This is how.
When I started, it was to show cattle and that was all. It wasn't long until showing cattle turned into livestock judging, showing goats, honor club, 4-H camp and beef camp. In the past eight years, there are a lot of things I will never forget.
Here are some of those memories. I hope that you will join 4-H so you can collect memories of your own.
My first 4-H Expo show was in Nashville. I was told by others that Black Angus cattle was a hard breed to show and win, but Mr. Armstrong told me there are two things we could do -- buy or raise cattle that can compete and work hard. That is when my parents and I sat down and talked about winning and losing.
That year I won farm-bred with my Angus heifer. I started to learn more about breeding my heifers so they could compete with others. I always wanted them to look as good as I could fit them.
My best memory of 4-H came in 2006, when I had the reserve champion Angus, grand champion farm-bred Angus, and reserve champion commercial heifer.
In 2007 and 2008, I had the champion farm-bred Angus heifer. In 2011, I leased a Charolais heifer to show and was grand champion at Expo. This year I had the farm-bred Angus grand champion.
I have been on the cover page of the Tennessee Cattle Business, in the Angus Journal, and two fair covers.
Thanks to 4-H, I have shown all over the state of Tennessee, in Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana, Georgia, Michigan and Nebraska.
I have learned a lot about the cattle business through my showing and judging. I was 10th in the district this year in the livestock judging contest.
I know I talk about ribbons and awards, but 4-H is more. It's about the people, the experiences, the life -- long skills, the memories and the county fairs. It's about being a role model, giving back, and making the best better.
I want to thank 4-H, my parents, grandparents, and the many friends I have made for their help and support.