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FFA students discuss their livestock projects

Alyssa Martinez shows off her Grand Champion rabbit at L.I.F.E Downs last March.

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Alyssa Martinez shows off her Grand Champion rabbit at L.I.F.E Downs last March.

Jodie Sanchez, Staff Writer

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Their passion for animals has taken them a long way.

FFA (Future Farmers of America) is an organization that hopes to inspire the newest generation in their future careers.

In particular, these three students in this organization are constantly inspired and aspire to further their careers with their love of livestock and agriculture.

Alyssa Martinez, an active FFA member, stated that she was first in 4-H because her cousins were in it. She was never really sure about the role she was about to take on but decided to continue in it and raise rabbits.

“I never really understood what I was getting into, but I’m glad that I took a chance because it has become a major part of my life,” she said.

Alyssa Martinez first began to raise rabbits as a little girl. In 3rd grade, she wanted to take a chance and follow in her family’s footsteps.

“My whole family has been in FFA. How can I not continue the tradition?” she said.

Martinez practices every day after school because she wants to work to achieve her goal of selling her rabbit. Last year, she received the second best title of Reserved Grand Champion and now has her eye on the best title of Grand Champion.

“You got to keep your eye on the prize and do not give up,” she said.

Throughout her life, FFA was always a big part of it. She has always been constantly inspired and hopes to turn this into a lifestyle.

“As I grow older, I’ve become closer and closer to the idea of making this part of my life a lifestyle. I love what I do and I hope to take a part of this and share it,” she said.

Martinez hopes to become an Agriculture teacher and use all of her knowledge about raising animals and use it to the benefit of others.

This next student has big hopes for her future and was inspired by FFA.

Janie Casarez, also an active FFA member, has been a part of the showcase of animals since she was in 3rd grade.

In being young and having a love and passion for animals, she knew she wanted to be involved in an organization dealing with animals.

“Since I was young, I have always been so drawn to animals. The love that I have for them is unexplainable,” she said.

Since she decided to join FFA (Future Farmers of America), she has shown many different animals in the different events at L.I.F.E (Laredo International Fair and Exposition).

“I have an absolute love and passion for raising livestock because you get to have a bond with each and every single animal and that’s the most amazing thing,” she said.

Casarez has raised many animals in the span of her FFA career. She’s raised lambs, goats, rabbits, and other livestock you are able to show and has the best time doing it.

“Showing livestock is the best experience I’ve ever had,” she said.

Casarez loves what she does and hopes to continue this livestock journey throughout her life. She hopes to become a veterinarian and further her career with animals.

“My dream job would be to become a veterinarian. As my love for animals is continuously growing, I want to make a difference and keep animals healthy and safe,” she said.

FFA even inspires former members to carry the knowledge learned in the organization and urge them to create something great out of it.

Jose Sanchez, a former FFA member, was in FFA his entire high school career.

Sanchez started off small and raised a lamb freshman year. He hoped to start off small and take on a less difficult animal to maintain. As the years went on though, he decided he was ready for a challenge and the last three years of his high school career he raised steers.

“I wanted to challenge myself and see what I could raise next, so I got a steer. Even though it’s difficult to raise a steer because they are way stronger than you I was ready to take this on and succeed,” he said.

When Sanchez began raising steers he loved it and knew that he wanted to further his career with animals.

“FFA helped me to realize what I wanted to pursue in the future and currently that’s what I’m working to do,” he said.

Sanchez attends Laredo College and hopes to achieve his goal as a veterinary technician and continuing to help animals all around the world.

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FFA students discuss their livestock projects