FFA student aims to win grand champion at livestock shows

SAN BENITO —Whether he’s studying, training for track and cross country meets, or preparing his animals for livestock shows, San Benito High School junior Joaquin Medina says he always gives 100 percent.

Joaquin joined the FFA agriculture program three years ago and has been competing in livestock shows ever since.

Growing up on a ranch and being around animals all of his life led Joaquin to develop a passion for agriculture.

After months of dedication, preparation and training, Joaquin showcased a steer and heifer in the Tip-O-Tex and Sonny Brazil Classic Prospect livestock shows in January.

He aims to win grand champion at the upcoming Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show set for March in Mercedes.

Joaquin answered a few questions recently for the Valley Morning Star.

VMS: How do you feel about balancing your extracurricular activities and school?

JOAQUIN: I think it’s both difficult and fun. I really like a challenge. I wake up every morning at 4:30 to feed my animals and make sure they’re fine. After that, I run eight miles before school. During school, I run another six miles and after school I go visit my animals again.

VMS: Can you tell me about the animals you’re going to compete with?

JOAQUIN: I’m going to showcase a market steer named Notorious and a commercial heifer named Nala. I’ve been working with them every day since the beginning of last summer. I give them baths, walks, food and work with them on how they’re going to stand when they’re shown during competitions.

VMS: How do students decide which animals to compete with?

JOAQUIN: You have to know what you’re looking for. You should also talk with your ag instructor and what they think about the animals. Then from there, you pick what you can afford and which ones you like most.

VMS: Can you describe how passionate you are about agriculture?

JOAQUIN: I really like it because I’ve always loved to be around animals. With animals comes great responsibility, and I like having responsibilities because it keeps me out of trouble and keeps me busy.

VMS: What are your goals after graduating high school?

JOAQUIN: I want to study to become a veterinarian either at Texas State, Texas A&M or Texas A&M-Kingsville.