Waurika’s Gatlin Black – FFA Spotlight Presented by Oklahoma AgCredit

 

By Derrick Smith

Gatlin Black is no stranger to farming and taking care of animals. In fact, he has been around it for most of his life, and joining Future Farmers of America was just an easy decision.

“I grew up around agriculture and livestock,” he said. “As a young kid, FFA was something I remember looking forward to being able to be a part of. So when the opportunity came along, I jumped on it.”

Black is a senior at Waurika Public Schools, where he has been a member of FFA for five years. During his time in the program, he has shown a Chester gilt and a Duroc gilt. While agriculture and taking care of animals is something you learn about, those are not the only things that are learned in the program, according to Gatlin.

“FFA has taught me that practice makes perfect, hard work will eventually pay off, and to never doubt yourself.”

There have been many memorable experiences for Gatlin during his time in FFA, but one stands out.

“I have enjoyed countless things like all the long fun road trips, the time with my friends, and all the great people I’ve got to meet over the years,” he said. “My fondest memory of my years in FFA has to be last year when a small group of the chapter drove to Indianapolis, Indiana for the FFA National Convention. The road trip was amazing getting to see all different states and cities. The convention was fun as well, with many different chapters there and many different speakers and workshops. We also got to attend a Rascal Flatts concert and dance.”

Black has also won a number of awards while in FFA.

“I have won local breed champion, reserve breed champion at the county show, and reserved showmanship award for showing. Outside of showing I have been awarded the Jim Citrowske Award, and help a junior officer position twice.”

After high school, Gatlin plans to attend Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches, Louisiana where he will continue his education.

Gatlin says that if someone is trying to decide if they should join FFA, they need to get out of their comfort zone.

“I would tell them to just be involved as much as you can, and don’t be scared to try new things. The more you are involved the more you will enjoy and learn, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because you might find something new you like.”