Makenzie Gottschalk grew up gardening alongside her mother, and recalls helping water, weed, and harvest vegetables at just three years old. It is these memories that Gottschalk credits for planting the love of agriculture into her life, a passion she has passed on to others through years of selfless service.
Gottschalk joined 4-H in the third grade, after her family moved to a brand new town in south Texas.
“I came home after school one day and told my mom that I wanted to go to a 4-H meeting being held that evening at my school,” said Gottschalk. “She agreed. Little did I know that this meeting was going to be instrumental in molding my entire future.”
Through 4-H, Gottschalk has served in various leadership roles, including vice president and president of her county 4-H council. She has also exhibited market goats, and has assisted other young exhibitors as they begin raising livestock projects of their own through facilitating a showmanship clinic. This clinic brought in over 100 young exhibitors seeking to grow their showmanship skills, an experience that Gottschalk says has been one of her favorites during her ten-year involvement in 4-H.
“The spirit of cooperation within a community starts with giving back,” said Gottschalk. “I am proud to have been instrumental in passing on the love of the agricultural industry, by showing livestock and teaching future generations of exhibitors.”
In addition to goats, Gottschalk has shown market lamb projects, and has earned showmanship titles for her efforts. Through 4-H, she competes in homemaking, photography, and woodworking. She has also participated in service projects benefitting her community, including assembling Thanksgiving food donations for families in need, highway clean-ups, donating supplies for families with hospitalized children, collecting Christmas gift donations, and gathering donations for her local food bank.
Outside of 4-H, Gottschalk is an active member of her high school, and has participated in athletics, student council, DECA, and drama club. She has also served as her high school’s mascot, and is a member of the National Honor Society. As a member of the FFA, Gottschalk competes in job interview, as well as a supervised agricultural experience focused on her goat projects.
After graduation, Gottschalk plans to attend Texas A&M University Kingsville to major in animal science. She hopes to use her degree to pursue a doctorate in veterinary medicine, and eventually begin a career as a large animal vet.
“I want to make veterinary services easily accessible to small-town communities, while serving the rural needs on ranches and farms,” said Gottschalk. “Veterinarians are instrumental in providing care to ensure the health of not only pets, but animals raised to be part of our food source.”
Congratulations on your outstanding achievements Makenzie, the Capital Farm Credit team wishes you the best of luck in your future endeavors.