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BELOW LEFT: This photo was taken right after the sale. Rebel noted that one of the most rewarding, yet heartbreaking things is selling your animal after the fair is over. BELOW RIGHT: Rebel is holding her medal that she was awarded for FFA District Champion in Ag Communications. She competes in a variety of different competitions, including Livestock Judging, Extemporaneous Speaking, Ag Communications, and Ag Sales. JETT SJEKLOCHA, AGE 13 MICHELLE LAPP As the 2016 Elwood Rodeo Queen, Rebel had the opportunity to serve as an ambassador for agriculture and rodeo as well as a role model for the younger generation. KC CREATIONS PHOTOGRAPHY, BURWELL, NE hands-on experience to the future of agriculture. Rodeo One of the highest honors I have is to present the American Flag at rodeos. To me, this is one of the most humbling experiences out there. There is just something about the last note of the national anthem that causes the fl ag to wave ever so gently and send a shiver down my spine. We truly live in a great country where we are able to show our love for others and agriculture in whatever ways we choose. With this platform, I am able to educate those who are unaware about rodeo and agriculture, and provide them with the information and tools they need to form educated opinions regarding our passions. In this day and age, there are so many organizations and individuals who attempt to contradict the things we do. I fi rmly believe that the root of all of this is due to a lack of education about these topics. This position allows me to formally educate those who are unaware and to make valuable connections in the process. Serving as a role model for the next generation is something I take very seriously. With the constant critique of rodeo and agriculture, we must empower the youth of today to become passionate leaders. I am incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity. The Future I want to become a practicing attorney in a rural community. Participating in contests such as livestock judging and land judging may seem irrelevant to the legal profession, however, this could not be more untrue. In fact, during the livestock judging competition, contestants are required to give sets of reasons on why they placed the class the way they did. In my future career, I will have to be able to effectively articulate my feelings toward a judge or jury and convince them to believe what I am saying. Essentially, that is what reasons are for in livestock judging. Land judging is also benefi cial because it leads participants to use critical thinking skills to properly evaluate the land. Through each and every one of these contests, I have learned to market myself, speak articulately, think critically, and most importantly, be an innovative contributor to the agricultural industry. Rural America provides countless opportunities for youth to become future industry leaders and innovators in agriculture. I am ever so grateful for the opportunities I have been granted, and know that there are countless others across the country who feel the same way about their background in agriculture. You simply cannot put a price tag on the value of ag literacy and education. I implore you all to support any local program that motivates youth to fi nd their passion in agriculture. I am proud to call rural Nebraska my home and look forward to the opportunities and growth that lie in my future. 10 I WORKING RANCH JUNIOR I SUMMER 2017


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