Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Sophomore Mattie Haynes was recently named National High Individual at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE), the largest all-breed, purebred livestock event in the world. Haynes’ championship breaks the 28-year drought for NEO Livestock Judging. NEO also enjoyed team success, finishing Fifth High Team Overall. “To say I am humbled thus far would be an understatement,” said Haynes. “God had a place for me at NEO. I found an agriculture department where I am surrounded by people that support and encourage me to pursue my aspirations as well as teammates that have become my dearest friends.” During the competition, Haynes put together strong finishes in individual categories, including second-high overall in cattle and reasons divisions. She also claimed top-ten in hogs, which helped cement her championship.
The NEO team earned their fifth-high placement by finishing third in sheep and second in hogs. Ashley Peterson, a sophomore from Remington, Ind., also claimed eighth in sheep, seventh in cattle, and the Third High Individual Overall. “It is a true honor to represent NEO at a contest of such prestige. We are eternally grateful for those who have encouraged and shared their talents and stock with us as we prepared for the contest,” said Head Coach Taylor Graham. Haynes is from Jay, Okla., and majors in Agriculture Business. She is also a member of the NEO Honors Program and PTK. Upon graduation in May, she plans to attend Oklahoma State University as an Agriculture-Business major with an option in Pre-Law. For more information about NEO Agriculture or the NEO Livestock Judging Team, contact Gentry Hutchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.