I’m a Tulsa Kid: Madison Hudgins
Mannford High School, Member of Future Farmers of America
Mannford High School Senior Madison Hudgins enjoys living 30 miles outside of Tulsa, away from city life. Living on a farm, taking care of livestock and participating in daily chores has taught Madison a work ethic that has carried over into her schoolwork. Madison is president of her high school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) club, treasurer of her senior class and the National Honor Society and a four-year starter for the Mannford Lady Pirates varsity basketball team.
TK: You live in Mannford. What has it been like growing up in a small town, living on a farm and raising cattle?
Madison: It is the best! I live on 27 acres of land. Living on land has taught me at an early age a work ethic. In raising boar goats, I have learned to care for the bottle babies whose mom died, and deal with them when they will not eat. We have to show at many local goat shows including traveling to national goat shows as well. I have experienced losing our three show steers in a cool room accident in 2010. I also experienced winning by watching my older brother, Garett, win Tulsa State Fair in 2011, and I exhibited the Reserve Champion Market Steer at Tulsa State Fair in 2009. I won the Arizona National Livestock Show in 2014. These experiences I have been through have made me the person I am today.
TK: How long have you been a member of FFA, and what is your current role in the organization?
Madison: I have been in the FFA for four years. I have served as reporter, vice president, and currently, president. I organize events, run meetings, and help members get involved. I have helped several kids with their showing project, teaching them how to present their animal to the judge, showing them how to work hair, or teaching them to present their animals to their fullest potential. This past year I was able to help organize the officer team to attend the National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. We raised $2,500 to attend the event.
TK: What have you learned from your experience showing steers?
Madison: One of my favorite things about showing is it is a family thing. We all have our part to help in some way. My dad’s job is helping pick out our steer and feeding. Feeding is very important. To be competitive at a market steer, the steer must weigh approximately 1,400 pounds without being over-conditioned. Showing takes a lot of time, energy and money. I couldn’t do it without my family. I spend most of my time developing their (the animal’s) hair by brushing, rinsing and blowing my steers. Hair is very crucial in the showing world. I feel like showing has taught me the most about life. Waking up before the sun comes out to put the steers in the cooler or working hair until my hand hurts, I have learned in life we have to do things that we don’t always want to do, but it will one day all be worth it. It has also taught me to pay attention to the details, and there are no short cuts that can be taken.
TK: Tell me about the Oklahoma Youth Expo in Oklahoma City last March. What was that experience like?
Madison: The Oklahoma Youth Expo Livestock Show is the largest junior show in the world. There are 7,000 exhibiters competing against each other. I have only shown at this show four times, and made the sale once. I took my steer K.D, which stands for Kevin Durant. I figured everyone loves Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City, so I thought and hoped everyone would love my K.D. K.D. weighed 1,375 and was in class three of the crossbred steers. In my class were some tough competitors. But, I won my class and received Breed Champion Crossbred. It was the best feeling ever! All my hard work paid off. My favorite moment was when my family came down from the stands with tears in their eyes and wrapped their arms around me. Winning such a big show comes with many awards including a new trailer, two trophies and lots of money.
TK: What are your future educational plans after high school and will you continue being involved in steer showing?
Madison: My future plans include attending Oklahoma State University in the fall and majoring in marketing. I am the fifth generation of my family to attend OSU. I personally will not continue showing steers, but I will continue to help and encourage my little brother, Charlie, in the show ring.