After spending his childhood helping his parents on their meat goat operation, Hayden Lovelady joined 4-H as a way to begin raising and showing livestock projects of his own. He exhibited his first pen of rabbits as a fourth grader, and after testing the waters of the livestock industry, dove headfirst into raising market goats.
Now a senior at Iowa Park High School, Lovelady has spent the last nine years of his life dedicated to advocating for the agriculture industry, a passion he hopes to use to succeed in his future career. He enjoys spending time educating the media about agriculture, and has done so in the form of television interviews, magazine articles, and social media posts.
His leadership experiences include serving as the president of the Wichita County 4-H Council for the last three years, as well as a County Livestock Ambassador. He currently serves as the vice president of his 4-H club, and has previously held the office of county delegate, parliamentarian, and reporter. Through 4-H, he has participated in educational presentation, trap shooting, agricultural identification, and livestock skill-a-thon. Lovelady has also competed in photography, and was awarded the first place title in the Texas 4-H State Roundup domestic animal category. In addition to raising breeding goats and market goats, he has exhibited rabbits, as well as market lamb projects.
Lovelady has been an active member of the Iowa Park FFA chapter for the last four years. He has held the office of chapter president for the last two years, and currently serves as the vice president of the Area IV FFA Association.
Through these leadership opportunities, Lovelady has helped facilitate a leadership conference for incoming FFA members. This conference, known as Greenhand Camp, serves as an introduction to the FFA organization, and is open to new members from across the area. With the help of his fellow Area IV officers, Lovelady hosted 27 workshops over the course of two days, an experience that he credits with being one of his favorite memories from his time in FFA.
“We were dog tired by the end of it, but it was hands-down my favorite experience I have ever had,” said Lovelady.
Outside of his leadership roles, Lovelady has competed in creed speaking, veterinary science, and entomology. He also competes on the radio broadcasting team, and recently earned the sixth place title at the State FFA LDE Contest.
“Looking back on it, I devoted the vast majority of the last four years of my life to FFA, and it has just been a wonderful ride,” said Lovelady.
Through his high school, Lovelady is an active member of the National Honor Society, and has competed in varsity tennis. He also takes dual enrollment courses to earn credit for college, and is a member of the Vernon College Honor List.
After graduation, Lovelady plans to attend Texas A&M University to earn a degree in agribusiness. He also hopes to pursue an additional degree in agricultural economics, with an emphasis on financing. Lovelady plans to use his education to become an agricultural economist, and help farmers and ranchers better understand the numbers behind their operations.
“I want to be the person that bridges the knowledge from agriculture to traditional financing and economics,” said Lovelady. “I know that agriculture is unlike any other industry, and I want to be able to travel and be able to help as many people as I can.”
Congratulations on your outstanding accomplishments Hayden, the Capital Farm Credit team wishes you the best of luck in your future endeavors.