Award gives recognition for outstanding work completed by middle and high school students
“I’d like to say how proud I am of Whitney for earning this month’s GROW award,” Commissioner Miller said. “Young Texans like Whitney make me hopeful for the future of our great state. She’s got the talent and the drive to succeed that has been fueling success in Texas for hundreds of years. Way to go, Whitney!”
Whitney was chosen from hundreds of Texas students for demonstrating leadership and academic success in her school activities, as well as her commitment to community service.
“I am honored to receive this award because agriculture is truly my passion,” Whitney said. “I hope to continue to pursue my leadership skills through this industry.”
Whitney was nominated for the GROW award by Mandy Jones, Whitney’s high school counselor.
“Whitney loves the ag and cattle industry and is a great asset to her family, school and community,” Jones said. “She has exhibited goats, market rabbits and pigs before falling in love with commercial heifers and market steers. There is where Whitney really shines. She absolutely loves her cattle.”
In the classroom, Whitney also shines and is currently ranked second in her class. She is a member of the Honey Grove High School Marching Band and plays the flute. She is also active in 4-H and FFA, holding officer positions in both clubs as an underclassman. Whitney has been judging livestock for four years and showing for eight years.
Additionally, Whitney was president of the FFA Greenhand Officer Team last year. This year, she’s serving as her FFA chapter's treasurer and a member of our wool judging team. As an FFA competitor, she’s participated in the Agricultural Issues Forum, where she placed second in district and fifth in area during her freshman year and first in district and fifth in area for this same competition as a sophomore. She is also in the running again this year for the Beef Cattle Production Proficiency award.
In addition to her school and extracurricular activities, Whitney gives back to her community, helping West Texas fire victims by leading fundraisers to support efforts to help those in need. Additionally, Whitney and her fellow officers started a Stop N Shop Pantry at their high school. They collect toiletries like soap and toothpaste, which can be used by any student in need. Whitney has continued to collect items for this project by getting donations from local businesses, individuals and hotels.
After graduation, Whitney plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in agribusiness to pursue her career in the agriculture industry. She also wants to help young kids learn more about the agriculture life just as she has.
For more on Whitney’s accomplishments, click here. The Texas Department of Agriculture established the GROW award to celebrate outstanding student leaders who demonstrate excellence in either their academic or extracurricular activities. Students can be nominated by community leaders such as teachers, coaches, school administrators, mayors, county judges or anyone else committed to recognizing youth leadership and achievement.
Between October to May each year, TDA selects one Texas student per month to receive the GROW award. Our next award will be given out in April 2017. Nominations will be due by April 1, 2017. To learn more about GROW, click here.