Never knowing much about FFA, my parents always encouraged me to be a part of the organization. Thinking it was so much hard work, I was intimidated by the chores that came along with raising livestock. I actually enjoy it now, thanks to this gentleman by the name of Mark Mora. Like people say, you must work your way up to the top. Well I was one of those who started in last place, to now winning many awards. There was never a thought in my mind that I would rise to the top, for there were many selfish and unhelpful people.
Like lions stalking their prey, these individuals were just waiting to see the quality of livestock that would exit our trailer. Knowing it would be a difficult task to stay ahead of their game, I was still determined to make every effort to defeat them. Unlike others, Mr. Mora took the time to teach me basic techniques and showmanship skills. He pointed out the proper ways of dressing and catching the judge’s attention as soon as entering the ring. Finding out that there was money involved when it came to winning first through third place, I knew paying attention was the key to success.
Learning new skills was not only going to require physical and intense labor, but mental focus if I wanted to be at the top with in the winner’s circle. Anxiety, terror, and not knowing what to expect were the feelings I had racing through my body, on my first show. It wasn’t long before I quickly surpassed the competition. Coming out of the show ring with my heart beating as fast as a drum, my parents and family were proud of my first win. Holding a buckle and a blue ribbon for the first time was the best feeling ever. All my hard work had paid off.
It encouraged me to keep working hard and improve my skills of showing. Winning at the first show gave me the confidence to compete at a higher level. Showing became fierce as I traveled across the state. Competition was no longer a piece of cake. It was determination. Working my way to the top at this next level was not going to be an easy task. New skills had to be acquired in order to, prevail. With a keen eye, I observed as others soared to the winners circle. Hard work and determination took on a different meaning.
I came back to the Rio Grande Valley with a loss but eager to display my newly acquired skills. As the years have gone by, I have continued to win and am now looked upon by others as a fierce competitor and as a role model. Hoping to inspire young showmen, I am now planning on conducting clinics for others. It was with the help of Mark that I have been able to accomplish all my goals in showing. I will forever be grateful for this individual that crossed my path and has left his footprints in my life.