Guest Blogger, SyAnn Foster – AJCA Board President

Our crew has been busy at the Maine & Chi Jr. Nationals in Springfield, IL. We wanted to feature a junior exhibitor who in our opinion is “one to watch.”
Today on the blog, we’re featuring Miss SyAnn Foster. SyAnn and her family are great FMG customer and have been great supporters of our business and the Maine & Chi Junior Nationals.
Thank you SyAnn for taking time to visit with us —
1.  Please share a little bit of your background in the livestock industry.
I was born into a family that has always been very involved in agriculture. I?m the 4thgeneration to grow up on our family owned farm and ranch in the small town of Lockney, TX. We raise Chiangus and Simmental cattle, farm cotton, corn, wheat and milo and also own a cotton gin.  I showed my first heifer at the age of 5 and have been hooked ever since. Throughout my life I have been involved in 4-H, FFA, AJCA and many other organizations.  I currently am a senior at Texas Tech University and major in Animal Science and apart of the 2015 Texas Tech Livestock Judging Team.
2.   What is your current position with the American Junior Chianina Association?
I am currently the President of the Junior Board of Directors.
3.   How long have you been a member of the association?
My family and I went to our first Chianina Junior Nationals in Murfreesboro, TN in 1999.  I was too young to show but I helped when I could and couldn?t wait for my first steps in the show ring. I haven?t been able to stay away ever since, as this is my family?s 17thChi Jr. National.
4.   What advice do you have for young people attending their first junior nationals?
The number one thing is to put yourself out there and not being be afraid to try new things.  It gives you the opportunity to meet new people from all across the country that share the same interests as you.   The relationships you build will last a lifetime, so take advantage of it! 
5.   What is your favorite event at Junior Nationals?
I have always looked forward to showmanship during junior nationals. I love the competition in the show ring especially whenever it is not necessarily your heifer being judged but the way you present them.
6.   At a show, where can we typically find you?
If I am not running a contest or working the ring for a junior event, I am usually at the stalls working with the cattle.
7.   Thinking back, which junior nationals has been your favorite? Why?
I have had great memories with each junior nationals but 2012 in Lima, OH would have to be my favorite.  It was my first term on the junior board and I got to experience working with the juniors more on a one on one basis. I also accomplished one of my lifelong goals and won senior showmanship and my favorite heifer ?Big Momma? was Grand Champion Chiangus Heifer.
8.   What is the most rewarding part of being on the junior board?
I think the most rewarding part is the junior board lets you think outside the box and allowing you to interact with the junior exhibitors directly. I always looked up to the Junior Board growing up and it?s awesome to be able to give back and be a leader and mentor to the exhibitors.   
9.   Who is your role model?
I have had many mentors in the livestock industry, but Jody and Shawnda Foster, my parents, are at the top of the list.  The unending love and support with everything I do will never be matched. 
10.    If you could go back to your younger junior days and tell yourself one thing ? what would it be?
I would encourage my younger self to always put 110 percent in everything I do and never settle for less than your very best. 
11.   Anything else you think our readers would appreciate?
I just want to challenge all exhibitors to do something that you wouldn?t normally do, whether that?s a contest or meeting new friends. Have fun and remember these are the people that will become your second family and lifelong friends. 
 If you see SyAnn this week stop and tell her thank you for her service to the Chianina Jr. Board!