Central student chosen to attend first Alaska-Texas FFA leadership camp

Source: KTRE staff
Source: KTRE staff

CENTRAL, TX (KTRE) - Three East Texas students have been selected among 33 other Texas students to travel to Alaska, this summer, for a leadership camp that combines representatives from each state's Future Farmers of America program.

As one of the chosen Texas students, Hayley Eldridge said she is more than ready to participate in the first mixing of Alaska and Texas' FFA programs.

"I hope to learn a lot," Eldridge said. "I hope to take the knowledge that I learn from Alaska and bring it back and teach people because not everybody's getting to go."

Eldridge's agriculture adviser, Bo David Williford, said that the Alaska trip will only keep Eldridge going on the path she's already taking.

"She's going to be exposed to a lot of things and see how other industries operate, using all the science that she's trying to bring our county," Williford said.

In the past few years, Eldridge has shown an interest in learning state of the art animal science techniques, including artificial insemination in cattle.

"We've recently invested in a microscope, so we can do our own fecal testing and find bacteria, fast," Eldridge said.

And, she doesn't keep that knowledge all to herself.

"The good thing with Hayley is she tries to promote that with her other fellow officers, her other fellow members, and anybody else that will stop long enough to listen, pretty much," said Eldridge's mother and one of Central's FFA leaders, Christi Grandgeorge.

Eldridge is currently a member of the Angelina County 4-H council and an ambassador of the Angelina County Fair.

"From going to shows, doing public speaking events, her agriculture skills competitions, which she made it to state in, all of those things build for them to move into these leadership roles," Williford said.

But, it's her time with her animals that she said she truly enjoys.

Eldridge and one other student from Central High School will be going to Alaska for a week, this coming June, accompanied by Central's agricultural science teacher, Stephen Peikert.

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