Makenzie Wright, 17, has been involved with the Nueces County Junior Livestock Show for nearly 10 years, but her family’s legacy reaches all the way back to when the Show began.

“My parents were both involved, my grandpa showed, and my grandpa’s dad, Mr. Scarborough, was one of the main group of men that started the Nueces County Junior Livestock Show,” Makenzie said. “It’s in my blood, ever since I was born”

Having been born into the tradition, Makenzie has made strides to make sure that her family’s legacy continues.

Besides being this year’s NCJLS Essay Contest winner (receiving a $1,500 scholarship), she’s been an extremely busy bee as a junior at Banquete High School, where she is involved in the National Honors Society, and is the Coastal Bend District President of the Banquete FFA. She is also a part of the Bluntzer 4-H, the Nueces County 4-H Ambassador, and a member of the Traveling 4-H Club. If that wasn’t enough, don’t worry – there’s more. Makenzie is an active member of the student council at her school, and is also involved in volleyball, cheerleading, softball and track.

One last thing, Makenzie is also the reigning NCJLS Queen, having been crowned in 2013. On Saturday, her reign will come to an end though, as she crowns the new queen.

This extremely ambitious and motivated high school junior is just getting started though, with her eyes already set on the future.

“I hope to be Valedictorian of my class; right now I’m sitting No. 1. Then I want to attend Texas A&M University-College Station. I want to study Animal Science; right now I’m leaning more towards being a veterinarian,” Makenzie said.

Her years of raising pigs and participating in 4-H, the FFA, and the NCJLS have definitely given her a leg up. The family fondly reminisces about the time Makenzie delivered her first pigs, which was a five and a half hour experience.

“It was a new experience for me, because I had never delivered pigs before. They’re little, which you would expect from pigs; and they’re sweet and soft, and they actually smell really nice – which is something I didn’t know,” Makenzie said.

Makenzie is the oldest daughter of Tracy and Julie Wright, but there is another member of the family who’s been learning from the best. Makenzie’s little sister, Hannah, has been a big part of her life, and Makenzie says that everything she’s done has been to guide her.

“Hopefully I’ve helped her to gain a lot of experience, and I’ve been a good role model. Hopefully she follows in my footsteps, and makes me proud,” Makenzie said. “I know she will.”