Given two scholarships
Village News Reporter
Mallory Sehnert and one of her steers won the Future Farmers of America advanced division market beef showmanship at the San Diego County Fair.
Sehnert, a member of Fallbrook High School's FFA chapter, showed her Maine cross steer Stoney LaRue and won the showmanship competition.
"It was a really great feeling, and all of my hard work really paid off," Sehnert said.
This year Sehnert showed five animals at the San Diego County Fair: two in the open breed show and three in the market livestock show. Her two open breed show entries were both gilts (female pigs that have not yet had a litter). Princess Sophia was born in December and Honey was born in January. The breed show classes are by age, and both Princess Sophia and Honey placed second in their class. Princess Sophia and Honey are both Hampshire crosses.
Sehnert entered a Hampshire cross barrow (male pig) in the market livestock show. Krull was born in December and weighed 253 pounds. Although he did not win his class, Sehnert and Krull took second in the FFA advanced division pig showmanship.
Sehnert also entered two 16-month-old steers in the market livestock show. Stoney LaRue, who was acquired from Hilbert Show Steers in Iowa, weighed 1,356 pounds. Parker McCollum, a Simmental cross acquired from Burke Show Cattle of Nebraska, was 1,091 pounds.
Stoney LaRue placed first in the 1,356 to 1,402 pounds weight class. Parker McCollum was in the weight class for steers from 1,047 to 1,093 pounds and placed second to a 1,093-pound steer raised by Fallbrook FFA member Landon Critz.
The FFA weight class champions and reserve champions then compete for FFA grand champion and FFA reserve champion. Fallbrook FFA swept the market beef weight class championships. Critz had two weight class champions while Clayton Critz, Jezabella Uribe, and Sehnert each raised a weight class champion steer. The Critz twins took the top FFA honors with Clayton Critz receiving FFA grand champion distinction for his 1,327-pound steer and Landon Critz raising the 1,208-pound FFA reserve champion.
An exhibitor may only sell one large animal at the fair's auction, which this year took place June 24. Sehnert designated Parker McCollum for the auction while negotiating barn sales for Stoney LaRue and Krull. Ocean Hill Equine Medical Group and Bello Lei Salon combined to purchase Parker McCollum for $8.50 per pound.
The master showmanship competition for all large animals took place June 25. The market livestock beef, dairy cattle, market goat, dairy goat, lamb and swine showmanship winners do not use their own animals in the master showmanship competition. Sehnert placed third in the FFA advanced master showmanship.
The auction wasn't Sehnert's only source of money from the fair. She received both a Junior Livestock Auction Scholarship and an Oscar Ledesma Memorial Scholarship, which is named after the Fallbrook 4-H and Fallbrook FFA member who passed away in February 2022.
The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation administers the Junior Livestock Auction Scholarship program. A Junior Livestock Auction Scholarship recipient must have entered an animal in the county fair's market livestock show, and it must have placed high enough to earn a blue ribbon and go to auction.
Scholastic grades, extracurricular activities and fair activity are among the criteria. The students are ranked, a bar chart with scores but not names is shown to the selection committee and the committee uses that chart to allocate the scholarship money for each position. Sehnert received a $2,000 Junior Auction Livestock Scholarship.
"It's super special that the Don Diego supports exhibitors the way they do, and it was an awesome experience to be a part of it and be selected," Sehnert said.
Sehnert was also on Fallbrook High School's varsity field hockey team for four years as well as in FFA, and she was involved in the National Charity League. She was in Fallbrook 4-H for four years before joining Fallbrook FFA and first participated in the San Diego County Fair as a market livestock exhibitor in 2015.
The Oscar Ledesma Memorial Scholarship is offered to San Diego County high school seniors pursuing higher education and actively involved in 4-H, FFA or Grange livestock activities. The awards are based on a combination of scholastic achievement, leadership potential, best demonstrated involvement in agricultural projects/activities, a sense of personal commitment to continuing their education and a reputation for doing good for others for the sake of being kind.
Sehnert received a $1,500 Oscar Ledesma Memorial Scholarship. "I really appreciate everything that they do for our community, and being selected to represent the scholarship is an amazing feeling and I am so blessed," she said.
Sehnert will attend Mira Costa College for 2023-24. Future Farmers of America has an alumni year provision allowing FFA members to pursue their American FFA degree, and Sehnert will pursue that.
"It was one of the best fairs I've had," Sehnert said. "We were all so close and everybody had a good time."