COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Boone County Commission recently recognized Boone County 4-H Senior Livestock Judging Team and Columbia FFA Livestock Judging Team. Commissioners issued a proclamation recognizing the teams for placing first in state competitions in 2017.
“4-H Senior Livestock Judging Team members Aaron Mott, Derek Strawn, Wyatt Thompson and Elise Bailey demonstrated leadership not only on judging teams, but also through FFA in positions on the state, area and chapter levels,” said Boone County Commissioner Janet Thompson.
At the 2017 Missouri 4-H Livestock Judging Contest, the 4-H team’s individual rankings were Wyatt Thompson, first; Aaron Mott, second; Elise Bailey, third; and Derek Strawn, fourth. Commissioners also recognized the Columbia FFA Livestock Judging Team of Mott, Strawn, Thompson and Audrey Wooden.
It is unusual for three of four individuals to be on a team to rank first in both 4-H and FFA competitions, Mott said. He credits the top finishes to teamwork.
Due to his age, this is Mott’s last year to qualify in FFA and 4-H competitions. “This was our do-or-die year,” he said.
Strawn, Wooden and Thompson are seniors at Columbia’s Hickman High School and Bailey is a senior at Bowling Green High School. Mott, a freshman at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, is a 10-year member of 4-H.
The commission also recognized Nathan Martin, a fourth-generation Boone County farmer who has mentored youth in livestock judging for 14 years. He serves on the Missouri Beef Industry Council, volunteers at the Centralia Fair and chairs the Boone County Fair’s swine and beef shows.
Martin’s involvement with 4-H and FFA livestock judging spans 40 years. He competed as a member of the Mizzou Meats Team in 1979 and the Mizzou Livestock Judging Team in 1980. He earned third-highest individual honors at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky., in 1980.
“Nathan has coached many high-caliber teams, including five youth teams between 2003 and 2013 who competed at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky., and four youth teams between 2007 and 2013 at the National Western Stock Show in Denver,” Janet Thompson said.
On Nov. 14, Martin led the current Missouri State Champion 4-H Livestock Judging Team in competition at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville.
The FFA team placed 21st of 42 teams in the nation in the recent two-day National FFA Association competition in Indianapolis. Along with their coaches and chaperones, the team made a 10-day trip to the convention. Their trip included practice contests and farm visits.
Mott says team members hope to be an example to younger 4-H and FFA members. “We want to show young people how far FFA and 4-H can take them. If you invest in these groups, they will take you places you never thought you would go,” Mott says. “They really do a good job of preparing you for different situations in life.”
“The 4-H program is a research-based youth development organization that utilizes mentorship and hands-on learning to provide meaningful leadership opportunities for youth,” says Brooke Jameson, MU Extension 4-H youth development specialist. “These young people have exemplified their leadership skills and project mastery through these high accomplishments. MU Extension in Boone County is proud of our youth for achieving their goals and for being a role model in their local 4-H Clubs and FFA organizations.”