Four boys: Cooper- 10, Cade- 11, Logan- 11, and Jackson- 12, are all friends from Washington County, Texas. These boys do more than just be average 10-year-old boys together. These four boys love to play football, baseball, hunt, and do all sorts of fun things; but at the State Fair of Texas® this year, the boys were switching it up.
In the Wildlife Registration contest, individuals or teams are given an environmental scenario in which they had to create a suitable habitat for an animal assigned to them. All of the groups involved separate and start breaking down what is native, and what they need to add to their habitat.
“Are these berries native?” “I think they are.” “No, they’re not!” “Yes, they are!”
The boys walked around the grounds, and studied their sheet as they talked about what the animal’s shelter could be and where they could get food and water. They discussed what type of management practices, and technology could be used to enhance their environment for their animal. Each boy contributed ideas to building their habitat.
The passion and knowledge of the boys was amazing. “We want to be here!” Cooper exclaimed. “I like learning about wildlife, it’s fun!” All of the boys have grown up on ranches and farms to where wildlife is a part of their everyday life, but they studied hard in their FFA classes for this competition.
Logan said, “We have all this knowledge. Why wouldn’t we use it?” These boys were taking things they had already been exposed to, and diving deeper into understanding agriculture so they can learn as much as they can.
All four of the boys want to attend Texas A&M University when they get old enough. Jackson and Cade both love baseball, and go to as many games as they can go to each season. “I want to be a professional football or baseball player when I grow up,” said Jackson. “I want to study this stuff, but I want to play sports too.” Cade wants to continue studying the environment and become a wildlife guide.
Boys like them are why agriculture is in good hands. There are kids out there that want to learn and apply their skills so they not only build a solid future for themselves, but the rest of the country. They placed 4th overall in the competition this year, and will be back again to keep growing their knowledge in wildlife and agriculture in general.