Southdown Juniors > Scholarships
The American Southdown Breeders’ Association offers three scholarships annually to junior Southdown members to reward their work as Southdown breeders and to encourage participation in Southdown activities. The Scholarship is available to any American Southdown Breeders’ Association junior member who is pursuing an education after high school.
2016 ASBA Scholarship Winners
Casey Lobdell, son of Troy and Barb Lobdell of Darlington, Wisconsin, is a sophomore at University of Wisconsin-Platteville where he is majoring in animal science with the goal of working in the livestock industry as a nutritionist. Casey was one of the four finalists for the 2016 FFA Sheep Production Entrepreneurship Proficiency. Over the past three years he has won state FFA Proficiency production and entrepreneurship awards in Sheep, Swine and Diversified Livestock. He has twice been Supreme Champion Showman of the Wisconsin State Fair Junior Sheep Show and has also excelled at the All-American and North American shows.
Mackenzie Padgett, daughter of Lance and Juanita Padgett of Kirklin, Indiana, is a freshman at Lincoln Land Community College with plans to earn a degree in Agriculture Economics with a specialty in Pre Law to eventually attend law school. Having held many FFA offices within both her chapter and district, Mackenzie was also the high individual in the state Meats CDE and was on the 3rd Overall team in the national contest, as well as competing four years on the state team for the Livestock Judging CDE. Through 4-H she won multiple Southdown and overall ewe showman awards at the Indiana State Fair as well as champion breeding ewe awards.
Hannah Schultz, daughter of Keith and Becky Schultz, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, is a sophomore studying Media and Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her ultimate goal is to write for a livestock publication or work for Farm Bureau of Wisconsin. Having held many leadership roles in FFA and winning four Gold-rated Sheep Production proficiencies, Hannah received her American Degree at the 2016 National FFA Convention. She competed at AKSARBEN on the county 4-H livestock evaluation team, has been on quiz bowl and skillathon teams, and won a skillathon division at an All-American Junior show.
Where are they now?
Jessica can always be found with a bright smile on her face. Here she is at age 9 getting ready for a county fair.
Jessica and her husband Nick exhibited the Reserve Champion Ewe at the 2015 Big E.
Check out what past Southdown Scholarship Winners are up to today!
Jessica (Hopkins) Miniter
Scituate, Rhode Island
ICheck out what this past ASBA Scholarship Winner from 2008 is up to today. Jessica (Hopkins) Miniter is an office manager and kitchen designer for Scituate Lumber in Rhode Island. Move over Joanna Gaines, Jessica is quickly learning how to best serve her customers in building their dream kitchens, just don’t ask her for a farm house sink! However, the road to this career was not your typical journey.
Jessica started out at a very young age working on her family’s 100-year-old farm in Rhode Island. The Hopkins family has been raising Southdowns since the 1970’s and maintains one of the oldest flocks in the New England area. She followed in her older brother’s footsteps learning how to show and quickly made the Southdowns her own. Today, Jessica is the 4th generation to live and work on the family operation. Together with her parents, Donnie and Deb Hopkins, they manage an 80 head brood ewe flock specializing in meat production for local farmers markets and restaurants. The Southdown meat product has become very popular among their customer base due to the tenderness, flavor, and consistency of the product. To maximize their availability of product year-round, the Hopkins have learned how to integrate the Dorset breed into a cross breeding program to increase out of season breeding. They also manage sales throughout the year on the family website, www.hopkinssouthdowns.com.
Her parents taught her the value of hard work in order to succeed and how to stay genuine and truthful. “Growing up, I didn’t realize other kids were not working hard in the barn like me and didn’t have the same opportunities.” Jessica was fortunate to travel with her Southdowns to many national shows including one of her favorites, the All American Junior Show. “There are so many things to do and get involved in.” This show holds a special place for her because in 2006, she won the Top Gun award for the Southdown breed. But the most fun for her is getting to spend time with all her sheep friends at the various shows.
Jessica’s enthusiasm for the breed led her to serve as the 2007-2008 AJSA President and she was an original member of the Southdown Ambassador program founded in 2008. When her junior show career ended, Jessica continued to be an active member of the ASBA by representing her region as a board director from 2011-2013. She now works for the Northeast Southdown Breeders Association promoting and organizing youth activities and shows.
After graduating from University of Connecticut in 2009 with a degree in pathobiology and veterinary science, Jessica married her long-time friend Nick Miniter. The opportunity to purchase her grandmother’s home on the Hopkins Farm came up and they quickly remodeled and made it their own. Nick manages the Peckham Farm for the University of Rohde Island. Jessica and her husband operate a small flock of Southdown and Corriedale ewes and still enjoy going to the regional and national shows and sales.
“The Southdown breed is like a big family, not many breeds have that sense of community. Kids interested in Southdowns should join the association because it is a great way to make lasting friendships.”