With the start of the new school year, a number of students are embarking on academic pursuits in unchartered territory at Foxcroft. Twenty-two girls have been selected for the first class of Academic Concentration designees, including sophomore Quinna M., who is enrolled in the Animal Science concentration. Quinna’s passion for animals, however, began many years before she enrolled at the School.
Since she was nine years old, Quinna has been involved with her local 4-H Club. “We are like a big family,” she says, “and many of my 4-H friends are people I’ve known since preschool.” Throughout the year, she and her livestock, including cattle, pigs, lambs, and goats, compete at shows both near and far.
This summer, Quinna, along with one steer, two hogs, one lamb, and one goat, competed at the Frederick County Fair, and came home with two impressive titles. At the fair, which ran July 30-August 4, Quinna and her livestock were in two shows — the market show and the cattle breeding show. In the market show, she earned the Champion Senior Novice Hog Showman title after demonstrating how well she showed one of her hogs. In the cattle breeding show, a heifer she and her family bred and raised was named the Reserve Champion Commercial Heifer.
This year was Quinna’s first year showing hogs, and also the first time she took four species to the fair. Over the years of competing in shows and working with her 4-H Club, Quinna says she has learned a great deal. Responsibility is a major takeaway, as caring for a heifer — walking, bathing, working with their hair — can take three hours of her day alone. She has also gotten an education in business skills. With an end goal of a market sale for every animal she buys, Quinna is diligent about keeping record books for each one, documenting all expenses, their shot record, and a history of when food and water sources are cleaned (which ties in lessons about disease control, too).
“It is so rewarding to see your projects develop from only 500-pound calves to finished products that are 1,300 pounds," she reflects, "and that all the hard work pays off.”
Now that the school year is underway, Quinna plans to continue these lessons with her livestock as she learns in the classroom as well. She is planning to enroll in Foxcroft’s Exceptional Proficiency program, which will provide flexibility if she needs to miss class to tend to her animals or attend a show.
It’s a good thing, too — Quinna already has big plans for the fall. In October, she and her prize-winning heifer, two pigs (including the Frederick County Fair winner), and a prospective steer are headed to the Virginia State Fair in Doswell, VA. Just a month later, she will compete with her stockmens group (a smaller group within the 4-H Club) at the North American International Livestock Expo in Louisville, KY — the largest livestock show in the world.
In continuing to pursue her passion and finding opportunities at Foxcroft that fit even the most niche of interest, Quinna is a shining example of making the most of a Foxcroft education. We can’t wait to see how she and her four-legged team do this fall. We hope you bring home all the blue ribbons, Quinna!