Thank you Targeting Excellence Sponsors, Board, and Committee for this opportunity! It is an honor to receive this scholarship The financial support that you have given me will help fund my tuition for my Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Production Systems at the University of Mount Olive. This scholarship will help make my educational goals to be more obtainable. I would not be the person I am today without supporters like you that believe in young people that have a passion for agriculture. Thank you again for this opportunity!
I have been hooked on showing livestock, including goats, turkeys, swine, and cattle since I was nine years old. From my first experience at showing at the Wayne County Show and Sale in the city slicker class to showing at state, and national shows, my livestock showing experiences have taught me many life lessons. What started with showing goats and turkeys, soon escalated to showing pigs and cows. Growing up, I participated in many showmanship circuits, county shows, state shows and National shows. I keep up-to-date with current issues by being involved in different livestock associations and holding different leadership positions. I have served as the Secretary, Treasurer and Queen of the NC Junior Angus Association. As a member of livestock organizations, I have had the opportunity to travel and show all across the country. I have had the opportunity to participate in many livestock judging clinics and skillathon contests. I have learned to identify, evaluate and select quality genetics and cuts of meat. Through my hard work and persistence, I have learned that dedication and determination will help me succeed in the show ring, as well as, in my future goals. I volunteered at a show pig production farm artificially inseminating and farrowing sows, as well as caring for piglets until they are weaned. With the knowledge gained, I have been able to breed and raise my own cattle and swine. With a large amount of my time being spent on college, I presently focus on showing and raising only swine. Last year I graduated with an Associate Degree in both Applied Animal Science and Swine Management. I currently attend University of Mount Olive majoring in Agriculture Production Systems. While attending UMO as a full time student, I also participate in the Partnership Teach Program at East Carolina for Special Education. My goal is to work for a swine business, hopefully as a breeding and farrowing manager, or operate my own business, breeding, farrowing, and producing pigs. My plans include continued efforts toward raising show pigs in order to give younger showmen the same opportunities that I have had. Due to my age, my days of showing livestock will soon come to an end. I want the experiences and the lessons learned through my involvement with livestock to be engraved in other youth just as it has for me. Therefore with the help of another fellow showman, I have formulated and started the North Carolina Junior Swine Leaders Association in hopes to continue to be involved and advocate for the swine industry and youth exhibitors of North Carolina. Livestock showing brings out the best in people and it has been a great influence in my life. I hope that my education in special education and swine management will allow me to mentor fellow exhibitors. The same determination and dedication that I have for showing livestock will allow me to accomplish the goals that I have set for my future.