Livestock show awards honor 4-H, FFA members, volunteer

Olivia McClure, LSU AgCenter / Special to Weekly Citizen, The Chief
Iberia Parish 4-H volunteer leader Jay Boudreaux, second from left, receives the Attorney General's Award during a ceremony held at the conclusion of the 83rd annual LSU AgCenter Livestock Show on Feb. 17, 2018. From left, AgCenter associate vice president Mark Tassin; Boudreaux; Dianne Cashio, a representative of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry; and LSU Vice President for Agriculture Bill Richardson.

Two Louisiana FFA members, three 4-H’ers and an adult volunteer were recognized for their contributions to livestock programs on Feb. 17 at the 83rd annual LSU AgCenter Livestock Show.

They received non-exhibiting awards that were presented during a ceremony held at the conclusion of the show, which took place Feb. 10 to 17 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. More than 1,800 youth from around the state exhibited cattle, swine, goats, sheep and poultry in numerous contests.

The C.W. “Dub” Kennedy Award was given to Alex Meche, a St. Martin Parish 4-H’er who has shown poultry for five years. Meche, a high school sophomore, also shows rabbits, mentors younger 4-H’ers and is a member of the state 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology Board. The award he received is named for a former Livestock Show manager.

Jay Boudreaux, who has volunteered for Iberia Parish 4-H for more than 15 years, received the Attorney General’s Award. Boudreaux works with 4-H’ers who are new to livestock projects, takes part in fundraising efforts and helps at the Acadiana District Livestock Show. He is a member of the Iberia Cattlemen’s Association.

Two Superintendent of Education Awards, which honor exhibitors 13 and younger who have excelled in the livestock program, were presented at the ceremony. The first award went to Joseph Hayes, an eighth-grader in Avoyelles Parish 4-H who shows swine, poultry and rabbits. Other 4-H activities Hayes participates in include the shooting sports program and the Junior Leadership Club.

The second Superintendent of Education award was given to Gene Natali, a freshman at Iowa High School, who participates in the school FFA chapter. He has shown cattle, poultry and swine since 2015. Natali won the grand championship for Braford bulls at the AgCenter show last year.

Kristyn Boswell, also a member of the Iowa High School FFA chapter, was presented a Governor’s Award. Boswell, a senior, has shown livestock since 2010 and focuses on cattle. She won intermediate grand champion showman at the 2015 AgCenter show and showed the grand champion Jersey cow in her parish show in 2017.

Kyle Sonnier, of Jefferson Davis Parish 4-H, received a second Governor’s Award. Sonnier has exhibited dairy cattle since he was 7 years old and has won showmanship and Superintendent of Education awards at previous AgCenter shows. He helps younger 4-H’ers with livestock projects and is part of the Junior Leader Club.