Thursday, August 18, 2016

Seniors of 4-H: Blake Hopkins

Blake Hopkins

After being involved in Orange County 4-H for nine years, Blake Hopkins is now attending Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas. Here, he received a scholarship for Livestock Judging, and credits his successes to his involvement in 4-H.

"4-H is important to me because I am passionate about livestock and it has gotten me to where I am now," Hopkins said. "I would recommend it to anyone. It is the best organization I have ever been in." Throughout his years in 4-H, he was active in a number of activities including showing cattle and hogs, the Cattle Working Team, as well as, the Livestock Judging Team.

 Livestock judging requires students to observe beef cattle, hogs, and sheep for breeding and market qualities. After observing the various qualities, students rank the different animals, and then have to defend their placings with a set of oral reasons in front of a judge.

Hopkins has been on the Livestock Judging Team ever since he joined Orange 4-H, nine years ago. While Hopkins will be continuing his judging career at Hutchinson College, his fondest 4-H memory comes from when his Livestock Judging Team won the National Livestock Judging Competition in Louisville, Kentucky, last year. "My team got along really well and was really close. [Winning] Louisville really showed that all our hard work had paid off," Hopkins said. Because of livestock judging, he also had the chance to travel to Scotland where he competed on an international level.

Along with learning how to work hard, 4-H also taught Hopkins about public speaking, leadership, speaking to strangers in crowds, and how to make connections with people. When asked to define 4-H, Hopkins stated that 4-H "is a great youth program that will keep you out of trouble, teach you life skills, and teach you to pursue your passions."

Congratulations Blake and good luck judging at Hutchinson!