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Panhandle Spirit: Wildorado Cattle Company

Wildorado's FFA has created their own student-run cattle company.(ABC7 Amarillo)

The Wildorado FFA is taking agriculture education to a whole new level.

In just twelve months, they've created the only for-the-students, by-the students, self-sustaining seed stock program in America.

Introducing, the Wildorado Cattle Company.

“This is gonna put Wildorado on the map, and that’s what we really wanted. We wanted this to be something that whenever you said Wildorado, they thought Wildorado Cattle Company,” said Jessica Merrell, a sophomore at Wildorado High School.

They’re not just taking a class, they’re building a business--an idea that Ag teacher Cody Bonds floated to a couple of kids exactly one year ago.

“It’s a company, so the kids actually had to borrow money for the program, and then we had to go out and actually pick out animals for our herd,” said Bonds.

This week, the class spent time weighing their bulls using equipment at the Gray Ranch, which is operated by Ty Cleavenger, a Wildorado School Board member. Bonds says support from the community like that was vital to the launch.

“A lot of people are starting to see that we mean business, and that this program could really change some lives and get some kids started on the right foot,” Bonds said.

They’re preparing their bulls for a spring sale, alongside stock from other consigners, with the money reinvested in the program as well as scholarships.

“It’s not just student-led, but it’s family-led. We’re all a big family here, and I love the fact that everybody works together. If somebody’s falling behind, then we pick them up, and show them the way,” said Tyler Cooper, a sophomore at Wildorado High School.

“I don’t know that I have enough words to express how proud I am of them,” said Banks. “At first, it was just an idea and now they’ve grabbed it with both hands, and the kids have ownership. This is their company. This is their program. It’s our dream.”

The stock sale is scheduled for March 2nd at the Amarillo Livestock Auction.

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