FFA Excels at East Texas State Fair

Casey Jones, Faculty

The school year is in full swing for Lindale FFA members. Several members of the FFA, who also compete as Smith County 4-H members, exhibited livestock as well as competed in the Public Speaking Contest this past weekend at the East Texas State Fair. Each year, thousands of fair goers seek out fun and entertainment for two weeks here in East Texas. Many see the livestock exhibitors working with their projects and exhibiting them throughout the fair, but what they don’t see are the numerous FFA members competing in different aspects such as the Public Speaking and Mini Landscape contests. 

Lindale FFA members Jacqueline Rand, Autumn Ellgass and Isabella Yoder competed in the Public Speaking Contest in their respective speech divisions. Over 70 FFA and 4-H members from across the state, as well as three that travelled from Arkansas, competed in Junior Prepared, Senior Prepared and Extemporaneous Speaking. Jacqueline Rand has been competing in Junior Prepared Public Speaking contests since she was just 6 years old. Although this was her first year competing in the Senior division in Agriculture Innovation, she placed 3rd overall in her division. Autumn Ellgass competed in the Senior Prepared Natural Resources division where she placed 3rd overall as well. Isabella Yoder is in her second year competing in the Senior Prepared Animal Science division. She placed first, advancing to finals, where she was named the Grand Champion Public Speaking Contestant. 

Several cattle show team members exhibited breeding heifers and market steers over the weekend. In the Angus heifer division, Isabella Yoder placed 6th in class. Red Angus heifer exhibitors were Nathan Feuquay and Tyler Thompson who placed 1st and 2nd respectively in their classes. Katherine Smith exhibited two Simbrah heifers placing 1st and 6th, while Orrin Parker, placed 3rd and 4th with his Chianina heifers. Riley Campbell exhibited her Beefmaster heifer in both the junior heifer show and the Junior Beefmaster Breeder’s Association heifer show where she placed 9th and 10th, respectively. Nathan Feuquay returned with his Charolais steer to place 3rd, Orrin Parker placed 4th with his Shorthorn steer and Brooklyn Gilleland rounded out the steer show with her Simmental placing 1st in class and ultimately placing Reserve Champion Simmental Steer.

Students will be out competing this week at the Red River Valley Public Speaking contest (today) as well as beginning the State Fair of Texas run on Thursday.