Youth in Ag
Name: Matthew Wise
Family: Dad, Gary; mom, Elizabeth; twin sisters, Rachel and Rebecca
Clubs/Associations: Live Wire 4-H, FFA, State FFA, Junior Ambassador at Arkansas State Fair
How are you involved in agriculture?
"My dad was raised on a small place that had animals. When he was younger his family had all kinds of cows and pigs and everything. My family is originally from Jacksonville, Ark., and when I turned nine we moved up here. My dad is the pastor of Gassville Baptist and we lived in the parsonage until we moved out in the country. My Aunt MaryAnn asked my sister if she wanted to show a heifer one year. We had never done anything like that. So we joined the 4-H Club. My sister showed the heifer. Then the next year, my dad bought my other sister and me a hog. So I first started out with hogs. I’m going to Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia, this fall. I’d also like to get my masters and doctorate in agriculture and become an ag teacher."
Who had the most influence on your agricultural career?
"Obviously my aunt, but my ag teacher, Josh Baker, really had a big impact on me. He showed me what an educator can do for his students. He can encourage them and show them that they may not come from the best homes, but you can go out and succeed, no matter what your background is. He encouraged me to go to college to be an ag teacher."
Is there anything that you would change about the ag industry?
"I think, especially in the show industry, that we’ve lost sight of what’s important to the kids. It’s about what you’re learning from this project, all the things. The kids should be able to learn from their mistakes and learn that winning isn’t everything. There’s going to be hardships, but there’s so much more to life. I think it’s important for those of us who are older to show the younger kids that it’s not all about winning."
By Jack and Pam Fortner