Abby Ray Loessin of the Bluntzer 4-H Club has won the Nueces County Record Star's 2008 Junior Livestock Show essay contest.

Abby, 16, of Bluntzer and a senior at Agua Dulce High School, will receive a $500 college scholarship cosponsored by The Nueces County Record Star and Wells Fargo Bank N.A. She will also receive a framed copy of a special section promoting the 2008 livestock show, which opens Jan. 12. The special section will be distributed Jan. 10 and will include a feature interview with Abby along with her winning essay.

"I love writing and writing about something that comes naturally," Abby said Monday when she was informed of winning the annual contest. "It's really cool just to be awarded for just writing about it. I've been writing essays for college for like the past few weeks, so this was like another one."

Abby has been showing cattle at the Nueces County Junior Livestock Show for nine years and has been a member of the Bluntzer 4-H Club for 10 years.

The daughter of Vickie and "Shorty" Loessin is a second-generation exhibitor at the annual livestock show and said the show is a family tradition. She is exhibiting a steer this year that she raised from a heifer. Last year, she exhibited the show's Grand Champion Steer.

Abby has also participated in the queen's contest, livestock judging competitions, and the homemaking and shop project divisions. For her final year at the livestock show, she will also participate in the Horse Show.

In addition, Abby has been a National Honor Society member the last two years and she also plays volleyball and runs track at Agua Dulce High School.

Abby plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in agriculture communications. She said in her essay that the livestock show has provided her many opportunities, including opportunities for radio and television interviews.

Abby plans on using sales at this year's show for her college education, although she has consistently given back to the show by supporting the sale of her cattle and donating awards to the show.

The Record Star wishes to thank all those local youths who submitted entries for the 2008 Junior Livestock Show essay contest. The entries were all well written and demonstrated the youths' commitment to their animals and the annual show.