Reagan Ruddock is dedicated and willing to help. Two things that have proved invaluable in the past few years that she has been a Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador.
I began my journey as a livestock ambassador two years ago and it has been an incredible part of my life. The short course taught me more about every aspect of the livestock industry and armed me with the knowledge I needed to make factual, informational presentations to kids as well as adults. Advocating for agriculture is my passion and I love to talk about it to anyone who will listen. With the way the media construes the agricultural industry today, it is important that our voices are heard and that the people hear our side of the story as well. The short course prepared me with the knowledge that I needed to share information about the industry and refute misconceptions about farmers and ranchers.
The livestock ambassador program encourages young leaders to speak up about the industry and prepares them to become tomorrow’s leaders in agriculture. I love to mentor other youth and get them interested in this way of life. This program gave me a door to mentor not only the kids close to home, but those around the state as well. Last year, I held a livestock clinic each month leading up to our county fair. We had guests come out each time, such as a Purina rep and a local mobile vet, to evaluate the kids’ animals and help get them on track.
We also hosted showmanship clinics for the lamb and cattle kids. Helping young showmen with showmanship is one of my favorite things to do. I am a strong believer that showmanship is not something that a showman should use only in the showmanship class. The skills a showman learns are used to make their animal look its best and those skills should be used in every show ring they walk into. One of the most rewarding mentoring moments I can recall was working with a young showman who had only shown for a year. I told him I would give him some tips at the show and as soon as he saw me he asked if I was ready to help him. From the first time he walked into the ring for showmanship until he walked out of ring D, he remembered and used everything we had worked on and commented how much it had helped him. I hope that I am able to get kids as excited about the industry as I am.