Commissioner Miller Honors Shelby Salge of Travis High School in Richmond With ‘GROW’ Award (1/15/2016)

AUSTIN - Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller today honored Shelby Salge, a junior from Travis High School in Richmond, Texas, as the winner of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s January 2016 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 Shelby for earning this month’s GROW award,” Commissioner Miller said. “Thanks to young leaders like Shelby, the future of Texas looks brighter than ever. I couldn’t be more proud to honor Shelby, as she symbolizes everything I look for in a great leader — a strong work ethic, dedication to community and family, and a can-do attitude.”

Shelby was chosen from hundreds of Texas students for demonstrating leadership in her school activities and her commitment to community service. Shelby was nominated by her agriculture science teacher, Leslie Stanton Dohnalik, at Travis High School. In her nomination, Dohnalik said Shelby is an extremely outgoing student who balances her schoolwork, including AP classes, with many extracurricular activities, and she does so with a winning attitude.

"I am honored to accept the GROW award from the Texas Department of Agriculture, and I am grateful for my ag teacher, Mrs. Dohnalik, who made that possible,” Shelby said. “Mrs. Dohnalik is not only the reason I joined FFA, she is also one of my biggest inspirations. Getting involved in FFA has led me to develop a better understanding of all aspects of the agriculture industry, as well as provided me with leadership skills that will continue to benefit me later on down the road in life. With the help of my friends, family and ag teachers, I will strive to further my involvement in agriculture throughout my community. It is such an important part of each person's everyday life, and getting to experience that firsthand only greater instills the importance of it in my heart and mind."

Among the many extracurricular activities Shelby participates in is the Travis High School FFA, where she serves as vice president. She raised a goat for the county fair in the fall and is raising broilers for the Houston Livestock Show this spring. As a member of the Poultry Judging Team, Shelby helped her team reach eighth place at the state contest.

Additionally, Shelby is a member of the Travis High School Band and the Girl Scouts. She also teaches swim lessons several days a week, attends Bible study and participates in barrel races. Shelby previously played softball until she decided to pursue greater involvement in her FFA chapter.

“After observing Shelby inside and outside the classroom, she has one quality that is rare among most people — she sees all people the same,” said Dohnalik. “Shelby treats you with the same kindness no matter how different you are, and watching her be so kind to others is a great reminder to me daily. I think the GROW award perfectly describes Shelby’s character.”

Dohnalik first met Shelby two years ago when she was a freshman student in her speech class. Shelby’s outgoing and helpful personality is noticed by her peers and teachers alike. Her dedication to livestock projects and excellent time management across a variety of extracurricular activities and challenging coursework has set her apart as an outstanding student and leader.

After graduation, Shelby plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in animal science with a minor in equine science. 

For more on Shelby’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 TDA’s website at TexasAgriculture.gov. One GROW award winner is chosen monthly. Nominations for next month’s award are due Feb. 1, 2016.