When I first got this question, all I could think of was “What do you want to be when you grow up?” That freaked me out because I don’t know. I’m still a tween-ager. I’m only twelve and a half years old. My mom and I talked about this question for three days. Here is my list of things I have honestly considered for my future so far: Pre-K teacher, actress, professional ballerina, and beautician. No joke. We laughed about it a lot, but we were afraid that list wasn’t a good enough answer. Then we looked at the question again and decided that maybe it wasn’t asking what we thought. We thought that maybe it was asking about my nearer future. Since I’m only twelve and a half, I’ve got a lot of future ahead of me. Even high school is still a ways off. I have several things that I’m looking forward to in my middle school and high school future.
I plan to continue showing dairy. I still have six more school years I can show as a 4-H or FFA member. I want to continue to expand my dairy herd through breeding what I have and by purchasing additional animals. I have always thought I would eventually own at least one of each of the major dairy breeds.
I would also like to continue to be a dairy princess. I have been chosen as the Oklahoma Ayrshire Jr.
Princess for three years in a row. When I am no longer chosen as an Ayrshire princess, I will be able to compete for a crown in another breed association where I am a member and show animals of that breed.
We did pre-enrollment in school in May. School starts in two days, and as a seventh grader I am going to take AG class! I can’t be in FFA until eighth grade, but I can at least be in Ag class. I’m so excited! For ONE thing, she's already told me that I'm going to learn a lot more about dairy and dairy judging. Later there will be SAEs and CDEs and convention and banquet and all kinds of new stuff. I also plan to always be in 4-H. My 4-H leader, who is also the FFA advisor, will help me make the right choices in my project areas so I can get the most out of both organizations without overlapping. It’s tricky. You can be active in both, but you have to be careful that you don’t “double-dip” as she calls it. This year I turned in a 4-H recordbook for Gold in Dairy Livestock, Silver in Dairy Foods, Silver in Nutrition, Bronze in Shooting Sports, The Nutrition Special Award, and The Outstanding Junior Special Award. I do a lot of work in a lot of areas. I have been a 4-H officer for the past three years. I will run again this fall.
I will continue to compete for Local Overall Exhibitor. This is a competition among exhibitors of all the species. Points are earned by your placings, showmanship, sportsmanship, herdsmanship, and your scores by judges during an interview process. I have been showing for three years. The first year, I was Runner-Up Overall 4-H Exhibitor. The second year AND the third year, I WON 4-H Overall Exhibitor!
I can’t wait until I’m fourteen. It seems like fourteen is the magic age for lots of cool stuff. This last year my placing qualified me to go to nationals in shooting sports, but I wasn’t old enough to be invited. Fourteen is also the age I can start running for Oklahoma Dairy Princess. It’s the year that I can turn in my first 4-H state level recordbooks. I can run for 4-H office on the county level. I can be considered for 4-H County Hall of Fame.
I will also keep on helping with Cloverbuds and working in dairy themes wherever we can.
I will continue to promote the dairy industry and dairy foods as a part of a healthy diet. I will work for Dairy MAX’s Susan Allen for as long as she will have me.
Who knows what else I’ll get to do with agriculture? Just recently I’ve been invited to spend a day working at Cross Country Genetics, and just the other day I was invited to come work for a day at a family dairy. Who knows what other agricultural opportunities I will get in the future?