Going Out With His Boots On
He’s steady and unwavering. The most dependable of people when you need him. His character is mature far beyond his years. Finding these qualities in someone can be tough enough in an adult, but to find them in a teenager in some places can be unheard of. I enjoy bragging on the “kid crop” from North Park because we truly do raise great kids here. Today’s young man in no exception. He is one in a million and a true cowboy at heart.
Jacob Wintermote is reaching the peak of his high school career. He graduates next Saturday as Salutatorian with the Class of 2017 at NPHS. Jake spoke at the North Park FFA banquet last week, where he gave his retiring address as the Chapter President. His message was inspiring and solid, just like Jake. I can’t begin to say enough wonderful things about this young man. He’s been an inspiration to me in many ways. I was his 4H Livestock Club Leader for 8 years. I’ve watched him grow from diapers to being a young man. I’ve witnessed him as a team member and been in the classroom with him since he was in preschool. I’m as proud of him as I am as if he were my own son. Jake has taught me far more than what I have probably taught him.
Through his youth, we’ve watched Jake take pride in his cattle herd, winning Grand and Reserve Championship with his steers at fair. As a teammate, we’ve witnessed him be solid on the court and a leader on the field as part of a state vying football team and District Champion Basketball team respectively. Recently Jake won GOLD as a Meat Judging team at State FFA Career Development Events and walked away with being second high individual. He has been successful in his FFA career as well and has been named a finalist for the FFA State Star Award. We wish him luck and know there’s no one more deserving.
Jacob will be attending the University of Wyoming in the fall majoring in Livestock Production and Ag Business. It is with no doubt that this young man will be successful in anything he tries. His words are wise and I asked him to share his retiring address here on our blog in the STUDENT SHOWCASE:
I know many of you have experienced this feeling. There is this old pair of boots that you love so dearly, but they are worn in many ways. This being said, they are the most comfortable pair you own.
My boots are worn in many places such as the heel, the tops, the seams, and the leather. The heel of my boot has been worn down over the years. This is the result of hard work and determination. I have seen this in my FFA career with all of the hard work put into applications for awards, practicing for CDE’s and working on my SAE. The tops of my boots are where the character of the boot show. This character is individual to that boot. As a boot is worn, the top is polished in places and faded in others by the person wearing the boots. This symbolizes how this year has changed me in ways that have made me better.
The seams of the boots are stretched by the pressure put upon them from the outside and in. From the outside the seams face all of the storms and trouble from the outside. This has held true to me through my experiences as the chapter president. There are circumstances that will come along from outside sources that will test you. On the inside of the boot the pressure is put upon the seams by the person who is wearing the boots. I have also felt this as the president when I have put myself to the test to make sure that I get a job done.
The leather of my FFA experiences is the ups and downs of the FFA and my SAE. When you are in an up time you may feel polished and refreshed. This was the times of success in my FFA career such as proficiencies and CDEs. On the flip side of this there are down times where you feel scuffed and out of it. These can be time where you may not have the best of luck. For me this year that was when I suffered losses in my cattle herd. However, these marks, good and bad, are left on the leather for the rest of time. They cannot be removed and are always seen on the boots. They serve as reminders of the memories that were made during the good and bad times. I would like to extend a huge thank you to Mr. Wellman. From the guidance on applications, to the success and fun of my three years of meat judging, you have made a huge impact. This year of growth for me wouldn’t have been near as successful without you. I am honored to be able to call you my ag advisor, my teacher, and my friend.
I would also like to thank my parents for all of their help and support throughout my high school career. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it without you. I am so grateful to have been able to lead this chapter and I thank all of you for your continued and unwavering support throughout this past year. As I wrap up this chapter of my life, it is now time for me to slide on a new pair of boots for the next chapter of my life.