Alyssa DePorter

Hello, my name is Alyssa DePorter. I am from Eaton, Colorado. I graduated from Platte Valley High School in Kersey, Colorado last spring of 2017. I am currently a freshman at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Illinois and I am privileged to be actively involved on their elite livestock judging team. I plan to graduate with an Associate in Science in order to transfer to a university to get my Bachelor’s in Animal Science. After college, I am undecided as to what I would like to do but I am for sure interested in an occupation within the agriculture industry. 

My family is my greatest joy and I am truly blessed to be so loved and live in the best home that I could ever ask for. My dad, Travis, is without a doubt my greatest mentor and role model. He has taught me everything I know from how to show to how to pull a calf. He is my greatest influence in terms of who I am and who I want to be. He has brought me to love the livestock industry and shown me my importance in what we do. My Bonus Mom, Toni, has been my motherly figure since I was very young and I cherish everything she has done for me. I wake up every day wanting to be better due to the fact that I have two beautiful sisters that look up to me each and every day. Tatum is six and Tegan is four. I cannot thank God enough for bringing them into our lives. The girls absolutely love going out to the barns with me to watch me work and I know they are learning. Tatum and Tegan are great help during calving season and I love cute, little, cow checking buddies. What pushes me and makes me better every day is my family and all of their love and support. Coming from a wonderful family has made me better able to live a happy life. As a family, we currently run around fifty head of cows. In our operation we raise club calves. We have a steer and heifer sale every October on Halloween. I have learned so much from our operation and these are skills I will use for a lifetime. Marketing, communications and sales are all things that I have gained from raising livestock and being involved in the agriculture industry. These are things I would never want to take back if I were to do it all over again.

I have been privileged enough to have been involved in 4-H and FFA for the past ten years of my life and I can truthfully say these were the most important years of my life. The experience of showing livestock has cultivated my path through life. Early mornings in the barn to late nights working show stock has taught me the most important life lesson, that being the value of hard work and dedication. I can never forget the day that I first ever walked a pig into the show ring. I can just remember turning to my parents’ moments before walking in the ring, I burst into tears and said, “Daddy what if I fall down in front of all of these people?”  My dad looked down at me and reassured me that I would not fall but if I did I need to get up, dust off your knees and keep going. From my first show pig to today I can truly say there are so many things I am thankful for. Most importantly I am incredibly thankful for the person that I am today because of this great industry. Showing and raising livestock has introduced me to people who will be my friends for the rest of my life. With all the hard work and dedication, I had put into my livestock I was bound for success. Being a part of Weld County, there is a massive weight that is placed upon an exhibitor’s shoulders. Reason being, it is one of the most competitive counties in the state of Colorado and arguably in the nation. I was the first person to ever exhibit the champion in every species. In 2009, I won the hog show, 2010 the goat show, 2012 the steer show, 2013 champion and reserve lamb and in 2016,  I won the steer show again. Being successful at the county level was a very big achievement. I was also privileged enough to have won the Colorado State Fair sheep show in 2015. Sadly, my 4-H and FFA years are over, but I still look back and realize how truly blessed I am to have been so successful. Additionally, I realize that with these great honors I had to dedicate the time and of course my parents were kind enough to have taken care of all the financials to keep me going. 

Now that I am nineteen and cannot show at my county, state or the National Western Stock Show in the junior shows, I have taken up another side of the showing industry other than market. I am currently showing a Red Angus Female who has been highly successful everywhere we have taken her. Cheesecake has really truly opened my eyes to the breeding world. Being around only market animals and only showing a couple heifers at state fair I have realized how different and interesting showing breeding stock really is. Now, sure it is not that much different than a junior show but it has truly brought to my attention how much more pride and love for cattle there is at a major show. Breeders showcasing their love for the cattle industry is truly heartwarming to someone who cares just the same. Cheesecake has been successful at both local and national levels. As a calf, she was fifth overall at the Green and Gold in Loveland, Colorado and was within the top five of two other spring shows. As a breed, we traveled to the Iowa State Fair where the National Red Angus show was held and we won the Junior and Open show.  At the World Beef Expo, Cheesecake won the Red Angus division and then was Third Overall Female. Nationals and the World Beef Expo were both shows that I had ever felt that happy to show cattle at the national levels. I am very much looking forward to showing Cheesecake at Louisville and of course the National Western Stock Show. My family and I have been very privileged to have experienced all these happy moments as a family. She has also brought a smile to my face time and time again and I cannot express how grateful I am for Cheesecake. 

Outside of the show ring I have been heavily involved in livestock judging since I was in eighth grade. Judging has taught me how to sort livestock and support myself through a set of oral reasons. Having these skills has better prepared me to be better about sorting my own livestock and finding quality to better my operation. Being around livestock all of my life has made it easier. Making the decision to judge at the collegiate level may be the greatest choice I have made. I have learned so much and have met some incredible people. My FFA team won the state contest in 2015 and went to nationals in Louisville, Kentucky and were 10th high team. I also served on my FFA Chapters officer team from 2015 to 2017. I played volleyball, basketball and track in high school. As a freshman, I was varsity in 100 and 300 meter hurdles and in triple jump. I held a varsity seat clear through my junior year and I didn’t participate my senior year due to my busy schedule. With my busy high school career, I learned a lot of lessons about my responsibility and how to organize events that were more important at the given time. I very much enjoyed all of the extracurricular activities that I did through high school.

There are so many people that has helped me get to this point. My Ag teachers and FFA advisors, Mr.  John Stahley and Mrs. Desirea Weber, have helped me through the tough times whether it be with livestock or with everyday issues. They taught me more about the agriculture industry and enhanced my love for what I do. They walked me through FFA and, in large part, hold a great importance to my success through judging and professionalism. Having great mentors such as these has better prepared me for success within the industry. The Bayer family is without a doubt my second family. They have helped me so much in and out of the show ring. They are currently helping me take care of my heifer and have been helping me get from show to show. They have showed me so much love and have taught me so much about their wonderful operation and how they do things. Finally, the Teague Family and more specifically my closest friend Charlee Teague. Charlee and her family has worked very closely with mine in the show barn. Charlee and I go to every show together and has even tracked around the country to jackpot shows in the dead of winter. She is my sister and I cannot thank her enough for putting up with me and being my person for everything. I thank God, every day for bringing these people into my life.

All in all, God has truly blessed my life with an abundance of love and support. I am truly thankful for the person that I am today and especially thankful to those who shaped me into who I am. Additionally, I am highly looking forward to my future within the agriculture industry and interested to see what all this brings me. This is why I show livestock and why I would recommend 4-H and FFA to any young individual, due to the fact that I have gained so much personally through this experience. Thank you for reading and God Bless.