“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” This quote by Coretta Scott King could not be any more accurate for what Walton County FFA and 4H students experienced Thursday night at the Walton County Fair Livestock Auction. As witnessed in previous years, many participants, along with buyers, consistently return for the auction in hopes of an opportunity to purchase a hog from our Paxton students. Many have watched our students grow as children into young adults who thrive from the challenge of raising an animal, along with the responsibilities that it presents.  

If you have ever had the pleasure of meeting any of our FFA students, you will understand why a sense of community is achieved; students stepping in to fill a gap, taking over the community booth to meet and greet fair attendees, and making sure everyone had what they needed to be ready for the week of activities. While students are in the FFA program they are challenged to think outside of the box and solve real world problems that the agriculture industry presents. The FFA has much to offer to all students whether it is in the classroom, in an outdoor setting, or in the show ring. These children never meet a stranger and always rise above and beyond the expectations set for them. Thursday night was no exception to their excellence, and it was shown brightly throughout the crowd during the auction.   

Thursday night was a night that the spectators and students will remember for many years to come.  Not only did our loyal buyers from previous years return, but we met new friends and supporters who traveled from as far as Mississippi to provide assistance for our youth. While bidding, the crowd cheered as the amounts climbed higher and higher and old records were broken. Tears were shed by spectators and participants at the extent of support and love given throughout the night.  Our students could truly feel the affection and encouragement from the community, which fosters their love for community and our FFA organization. They learn many valuable lessons each year that they will be able to carry with them for a lifetime as they plan for their future and what it means to be a part of something bigger. On behalf of the Paxton FFA we would like to express how grateful we truly are for all the love and support shown by our community.