Jaden Binford said that agriculture has been her life. And when she's not building projects in the ag shop for her community or getting her pigs ready for a stock show, she must be studying because Jaden is the valedictorian of her class, too.
"I started showing when I was eight years old, so third grade is when I started showing barrows. I showed barrows until up until about my eighth grade year and then I started showing gilts, and that's when I really started doing a little more and started doing better in my showing," Binford said. "I've started kind of from the bottom and worked my way up. O didn't win for a couple of years, but I just kept getting better and trying to better myself learning more and more as I went. This year definitely paid off placing three times at a major show, I got a couple of banners at county, and I won grand champion at my local show."
Binford said that her experience in FFA has truly come full circle. At eight years old, it was all her parents could do to get her in the ring. But over the years, she's taken on more and more responsibility herself.
"I know the feeding regimens now and I understand how to clip a pig and wash it and how to show a pig. They're not really on the sidelines showing me anymore, you know I'm kind of trying to show them what I know how to do," Binford said.
And learning about animal nutrition through her show animals is an area she would like to focus on in college. Binford plans to pursue an agriculture degree at Texas Tech University in the fall.
"I had a york, I had two spots, I had duroc and a cross," Binford said. "I started feeding regimens when they were eight weeks old just starting with basic feeding and working my way up. As they got older I started adding supplements to enhance their best features."
She tries to learn as much as she possibly can, whether it's in the metal shop, the judging arena, or the show pen, she loves learning something new every day.
"We built a table for the school board. I started to weld. I'm probably not the best welder, but I learned so I know basics," Binford said. "I was in the office, I was sentinel and then I did judging my freshman, sophomore and junior year for horse judging."
Southland ag science teacher Nick McCollister considers Binford an asset to their program. He said that he can always count on her to spearhead major projects for their FFA and put forth her best effort in every area.
"For four years in our program Jaden has set a level of maturity that has made the program outstanding. She's definitely a leader," McCollister said. "Jaden I think will be an advocate for FFA and the agricultural programs."
Congratulations again to Jaden Binford, this week's Ag Student of the Week and a senior at Southland high school. If you would like to nominate a deserving young person to be featured on our show, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .