Four members of the Lubbock County 4-H livestock judging team recently competed in the district contest in Lubbock and qualified for the state competition which will be held later in the summer. All four team members have different levels of experience, but they came together to work hard as a team.
"I started 4-H around 4th grade and I started with consumer decision making but now I'm doing livestock and I really like it. I just started the livestock judging team this year," Hagan Wright said.
"Some of my friends were involved in 4-H and asked me if I had any interest judging livestock through 4-H," Jordan Weathers said.
"I started whenever I was in 3rd grade, and I've done livestock judging and consumer decision making and meat judging," Clint Davis said.
"I got started this year, this is my first year for 4-H," Shaelynn Davies said.
The 4-Hers had some extra help preparing from a Texas Tech livestock judging team member. Nick Riecke coached the students through their first contest and is helping them step up their game for the higher level of competition.
"There was one day when I was out studying and my coach Dr. Rathmann, he approached me and asked me if I was interested in coaching a 4-H team and I said yes, so I met up with Mr. Scott and met up with all of these young, wonderful kids," Riecke said.
Each of the team members put in many hours of practice and dedication and time together, which ended up paying off.
"The biggest challenge with the reasons is just keeping a straight face and making your words flow," Wright said.
"The contest we already competed in, you know our goal going into it was we were going to try to get first and second and we ended up doing that, so it was really cool," Weathers said.
"We practiced a whole lot as a team and just worked together as a team a whole lot," Davis said.
"For the first contest we had practices before and I would go home and look over my notes," Davies said.
Besides the chance to represent their district for the state of Texas, every single one of these kids took something else away from the experience as well.
"Agriculture has had a huge impact on my life. It's really helped me make friends and meet new people," Wright said.
"It helps me speaking in front of people," Davies said.
"I just like to be competitive and stuff," Davis said.
"Going to state in this contest is going to be pretty cool," Weathers said.
And Riecke said that the kids weren't the only ones who learned something. He learned how valuable and rewarding it can be to give something back.
"It's been more than rewarding, especially for a person like me. I know personally that I could never thank my coaches enough for what they did for me because I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for them. So I think the biggest way I think I could repay them is doing what I'm doing now," Riecke said.
The Lubbock County 4-H team will compete at the state competition June 12 in College Station, so we certainly wish them luck there.