Sarah Weiss thought she had her post-high school life planned out heading into her senior year. The Brenham High School student planned to attend a four-year university, major in biology and pursue a career as a doctor.
How quickly those plans changed.
At a 4-H competition prior to Weiss’s senior year, former Blinn College Agricultural Sciences Instructor Brant Poe approached Weiss about joining her hometown college’s livestock judging team. Turns out, attending the two-year college less than three miles away from her high school paid dividends.
Weiss was one of 15 students in the nation recently named to the Academic All-America team. To qualify, students must have at least a 3.8 grade point average (GPA) and placed well at competitions in at the American Royal Livestock Show (Kansas City, Mo.), the North American International Livestock Exposition (Louisville, Ky.), National Western Stock Show (Denver, Colo.) and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Weiss carries a perfect 4.0 grade-point average, and placed 20th overall in Kansas City, 25th in Louisville, sixth in Denver and 12th in Houston. She said she couldn’t have done it without the encouragement of Blinn’s Agricultural Sciences faculty, especially livestock judging coaches Joseph Rathmann and Brice Mund.
Mund and Weiss have worked together since her senior year at Brenham High School, when Mund worked as an extension agent for the Washington County Extension Office. Weiss even interned in Mund’s office the summer of her freshman year before Mund was hired as a full-time faculty member at Blinn.
“There is nothing Sarah has accomplished or will accomplish that will surprise me. She is extremely intelligent, hardworking, and determined young lady who has the propensity to meet and exceed any goal she sets,” Mund said. “She has an incredible family backing her and regardless of what she decides to do in the future, I know she will shine.”
In the days when Weiss was a member of the Brenham High School 4-H club, she and Mund often discussed winning a national competition. Though it never happened in high school, she said winning the title at the National Western Stock Show in January made it that much sweeter.
“We always talked about it in high school,” Weiss said. “To finally do it this year was a really awesome experience for both of us.”
The Division of Agricultural Sciences is one of the fastest-growing divisions at Blinn College with almost 800 students currently enrolled – roughly four times the size of any other two-year agricultural program in the state. Blinn offers agriculture classes on all of its campuses, with the W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex serving as the program’s hub.
In addition to its excellence in the classroom, Blinn offers extracurricular educational activities in the areas of livestock judging, agriculture club, wildlife, agriculture mechanics, horticulture and agriculture sciences.
For more information on Blinn’s ag science program, visit: www.blinn.edu/agriculture.
Story and photo courtesy of Blinn College.