(800)-Tell-TDA
835-5832

Commissioner Miller Honors High School Student for Outstanding Achievement (4/15/2015)

AUSTIN - Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller today honored Colin Sanders, a junior from Academy High School in Little River Academy, Texas, as the winner of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s monthly GROW award. The award Gives Recognition for Outstanding Work to middle and high school students who demonstrate leadership and excellence inside and outside the classroom.

“I have to tip my hat to Colin for earning this month’s GROW award,” Commissioner Miller said. “Thanks to young leaders like Colin the future of Texas looks brighter than ever. I couldn’t be more proud to honor Colin, as he symbolizes everything I look for in a great leader — a strong work ethic, dedication to community and family, and a can-do attitude.”

Colin was chosen from hundreds of Texas students for demonstrating leadership in his school activities, as well as his dedication to making a positive impact in his community. His teachers note his outgoing, action-oriented personality and competitive spirit as what drives him to always do his best. Colin is active in extracurricular activities and excels in the classroom. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the basketball team.

Additionally, Colin is an active member of his local FFA chapter, where he has served as both chapter and district officer for the past two years. He has raised pigs since he was in fifth grade and shown these animals at local county fairs, along with the Houston and San Antonio Livestock Shows. Colin’s showmanship skills have garnered him numerous awards.

“Colin is indeed a true individual with a great work ethic and desire to help others,” said Rick Fleming, Colin’s former agriculture science teacher. “With my many years of teaching, it is rare that I come across students like Colin who have such a love for the industry and winning way about them. I know he will do great things in his future.”

It’s not just about winning awards for Colin, either. He serves as a mentor for younger students in his community, and Fleming notes that Colin never hesitates to help others with their livestock animals both in and out of the show ring. Additionally, Colin is a member of the Livestock Judging Team and has traveled around the state participating in competitions. Last year, his team qualified for state.

One of Colin’s goals has always been to raise a steer. However, limitations in barn facilities and finances created a roadblock for him. That didn’t deter Colin from reaching his goal. Last year at the Houston Livestock Judging Contest, Colin took home fourth place, which qualified him for a calf scramble certification, and that meant he was getting his steer. Colin’s determination to make things happen is evident in all of his endeavors.

Furthermore, Colin was selected as a member of the Show Pig All Star Team. Only 30 students from across the United States were chosen for the team, and Colin was one of two students selected from Texas. Students are chosen not only for their knowledge and showmanship of pigs but also their attitude of servant leadership. As a member of the team, Colin participated in a five day leadership camp in West Virginia and received a mentor award.

“I am honored to be nominated by Mr. Fleming and humbled to be chosen as a winner of the GROW award,” said Colin.

After high school, Colin plans to attend college and major in agriculture. He wants to become an agriculture teacher or extension agent, so that he can work with young people in the agriculture industry. Fleming said he believes Colin will be a key leader in the county and state for years to come.

For more on Colin’s accomplishments, click here. The Texas Department of Agriculture established the GROW award to celebrate outstanding student leaders who demonstrate excellence in either their academic or extracurricular activities. Students can be nominated by community leaders such as teachers, coaches, school administrators, mayors, county judges or anyone else committed to recognizing youth leadership and achievement.

To nominate a promising middle or high school student, visit the TDA website at TexasAgriculture.gov. One GROW award winner is chosen monthly. Nominations for the final GROW award of the year are due May 1, 2015.