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On The Cover: Building Character & LeadershipTBy Alissa Reinhardhe Walter Gerlach Livestock Showand Sale provides an opportunityfor Northside ISD FFA and 4-H students to showcase their hard work and earn money toward future livestock purchase or higher education. Nicknamed “The Best Little Stock Show in Texas,” Walter Gerlach has raised millions for scholarships and higher education since it’s inaugural show in 1974.The incredible O’Connor High School seniors highlighted in this issue have spent much of their high school career tending to their animals – feeding, exercising and cleaning, rising early and staying up late, traveling and competing. Leadership, public speaking, self-confidence, time management, responsibility, passion: each is a character trait learned, built, and finessed through their participation in 4-H and FFA.But perhaps even more importantly,these college-bound seniors have made lifelong friends, learned important lessons from incredible mentors, and experienced amazing highs and lows with their family and friends by their side. Although their FFA and 4-H journeys are coming to an end, each student will carry with them lessons learned and experience gained from their equally amazing journeys.Photo By Jess PayneJayden IngallsLBy Paige Wolfooking for something to fill his free time and an opportunity to get more involved, Jayden Ingallsjoined 4-H and discovered the many projects the program has to offer.“The thing I like most about 4-H is that there is something for everyone – whether that be creative activities, culinary arts, or animal projects – 4-H strives to help everyone find a career or hobby that is fulfilling for them,” said the homeschooled 12th grader. “The 4-H Food & Nutrition program has really helped me confirm what I want to pursue in life, and that is culinary arts,” explains Jayden.Jayden has participated in many 4-H programs, including raising and showing animals. For the past two years, he has raised and shown New Zealand rabbits.“You get to create a real connection with these animals for the short time you have with them,” said Jayden.This year, Jayden attended the WalterTrinity PayneBy Paige WolfTrinity Payne, a senior at O’Connor High School, started in 4-H when she was in fifth grade. While Trinity’s show career began with rabbits, she has spent the last six years raising and showing lambs.“After watching my older sister show lambs, I knew that was what I wanted to do too,” said Trinity.This year at the 50th annual Walter Gerlach Livestock Show, Trinity took two lambs and a goat, with one of the lambs receiving Reserve Grand Champion Market Lamb and the other placing 2nd in class. Trinity’s goat also placed 5th in Commercial Goat.“I have spent the last nine years at the Gerlach barns, and I’ve seen it change so much,” said Trinity. “It has blossomed into what it is today, and it is my favorite barn to show in.”Along with raising and showing several animals, Trinity is also part of the Leadership and Career Development Teams.6Gerlach Livestock Show and placed 21st with his meat pen rabbits and received Senior Showmanship.“The Walter Gerlach Livestock Show is one of the best little shows and my favorite show,” exclaims Jayden. “I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in it, and it is the show that I look forward to most every year.”Jayden plans to attend the Culinary Institute of America this fall.“My favorite part of the 4-H program is sharing my knowledge with younger future a g r i c u l t u r i s t s ,” e x p l a i n s T r i n i t y . “ T h i s p r o g r a m has benefitted me in so many ways. I have learned the true meaning of hard work, time management, and responsibility.”Trinity will attend Palo Alto College to pursue her Associates degree and plans to continue her education after at Texas State University where she will major in nursing.Reagan CrickRBy Paige Wolfeagan Crick began her 4-H career in sixth grade. Her first activity was working with goats, and shequickly branched out to lambs as well.“I form special connections with my animals every year,” says the O’Connor High School senior. “The goats and lambs have a lot of personality and aren’t afraid to showit!”Over the years, Reagan has beeninvolved in goat and lamb projects, livestock judging, wildlife, sales, and radio broadcasting. Crick also represents 4-H as a Texas Youth Livestock Ambassador.“What I love most about FFA and 4-H is the community of people that I have met and worked with,” said Reagan. “I’ve met so many amazing people through this program and I’m forever grateful for these experiences.”This year, Reagan showed her animals at the Walter Gerlach Livestock Show where she received Grand Champion Commercial Lamb, Reserve Grand Champion Overall Goat, and Senior Goat Showmanship. Reagan left auction with an astoundingDarius CobosDBy Paige Wolfarius Cobos, a senior at O’Connor High School, has been a proud 4-H participant since he was in fifthgrade.“I fell in love with it,”said Darius.“My onlywish is that I started it sooner!”Darius had dreams of showing animalsever since he was four years old and went to the San Antonio Rodeo. And those dreams came true – Darius has now raised and shown pigs, steers, rabbits, and chickens during his show career in 4-H.“Since I was young, pigs have always been very special to me – they sparked my love for animals and really made me want to pursue my dream of showing animals,” said Darius.This year, Darius showed two pigs and a steer at the Walter Gerlach Livestock Show. One pig placed lightweight champion, the steer won 20th place, and he placed for both Swine and Steer Showmanship. He left$12,000 – a remarkable achievement.“My experience at the Walter Gerlach Livestock Show has been amazing,” said Reagan. “It truly is “the best little stock show in Texas” because of the overwhelming amount of support that everyone is shown.” Reagan will attend Texas A&M University at College Station this fall where she will majorin Animal with more than $6,000.“What I like most about 4-H is how muchthis program puts back into the youth of our community,” explained Darius. “Over the years, I have learned so much from the mentors and leaders of 4-H.”Seniors - continued on page 7 March 2023Senior Spotlight Of 4-H & FFA

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