Reagan Hamlin

Hello, my name is Reagan Hamlin and I’m the eighteen-year-old daughter of Kevin and Michelle Hamlin and sister to Bryce. I graduated in May of 2017 as Valedictorian at Sands High School and I am currently attending Texas Tech as an Animal Science major with a Pre-Vet emphasis. 
 
From the day I was born I have been on the family ranches working livestock. My dad grew up in Luther, Texas on a ranch running stocker/feeder cattle and has continued in this industry with his dad. My mom grew up in Midland, Texas on a cow/calf operation and her parents still run cattle today. 
 
For the past 18 years I have been helping my family on the ranch. My maternal grandparents used to raise commercial sheep and goats before I was old enough to even think about showing livestock. When it became clear that showing livestock is what I wanted to do, they slowly but surely added better ewes and nannies to our herd and we began raising show lambs and goats. Each year our animals are better and my brother and I have put several in the sale at major stock shows. 
 
My first year to show I had lambs, goats and pigs. I was so excited at our county show because I won my first stock show buckle for Junior Lamb Showmanship. After that day, I was hooked as a showman.
 
I didn’t make the sale at a major that year, but the lessons we learned paved the road for the years to come. The next year, we worked harder and I had a couple of animals get pulled and placed. But 2010, my fifth-grade year, was magic. I won Junior Goat Showmanship at the Sandhills Stock Show, won five buckles at our county show, placed a goat fifth at San Antonio, place a lamb in the sale hole in Austin and in Houston put my lamb and goat in the sale and had the Champion Chester/WOPB. At the time, I didn’t understand what an amazing year this was, but amazing it was. When I was in the sixth grade, my brother was in third grade and our barn numbers grew and so did the hours we all spent in the barn. 
 
Sixth grade was also the year of extracurricular sports. When I first started school I thought I was going to be a star basketball player and make tons of money playing the sport. However, as I continued my education and became more familiar with the livestock industry and what it was all about, I knew that it was exactly what I wanted to do. I didn’t really want to give up my sports dreams but I was told by many people and more than one role model that sports weren’t going to put me through college that the livestock industry, that I truly loved, would. 
 
My parents made every basketball game they could and we spent lots of late nights in the barn feeding, exercising and working with our show animals. We learned to manage our time and I had to learn to do my homework during each spare minute. I had friends who didn’t understand why I “worked so hard all of the time,” but they didn’t have many activities outside of school that required any extra time and they didn’t understand that my animals always came first. 
 
Like every activity, there are highs and lows. My junior high years weren’t necessarily lows in the show ring, but they weren’t highs either. Then it was time for High School, I only thought Junior High was busy! I was still playing basketball and as a family we had to decide what was best for taking care of projects, so Mom made every game and Dad stayed home for away games and came to home games. In January 2014, I became a member of the “Brief Case Club” by winning the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo Finewool Show. It was almost unreal. I had the big banner and I was walking my lamb in the Parade of Champions during the rodeo. I wasn’t dreaming! 
 
At the 2016 Ft. Worth Stock Show, I took my favorite medium wool lamb, Miller. As luck would have it, I was in the “shark” class. I was pulled very quick and as the class went on, I slowly moved up in class and eventually won that class. I didn’t get a piece of the breed champion drive, but I might as well have won the entire show. I had worked hard, my family had worked hard, and it was showing. I had a very good year in the show ring and when it was over I couldn’t wait for the next year to start. 
 
I can remember the feeling the first time I walked on the court in Pre-K for my very first tip off. That same feeling of butterflies in my stomach never left me. However, the first tip off my Senior year was defiantly different. I defiantly left many hours on my home court along with blood, sweat and tears that I wouldn’t trade. Basketball taught me many hard lessons. It was my Senior year, and I heard a lot about the “senior curse.” Well, if my last year on the court might have been cursed, and my last year in the ring was “cursed,” I’ll take it every time. I studied the lambs and goats in our barn and was determined to take the best lamb and best goat to county and go out with a bang, and that I did. I had the Grand Champion Lamb and the Grand Champion Goat (with a goat I had raised). I made the sale or was in the premium money at every major show and my county goat stood seventh in class behind the division champion and reserve and eventual Reserve Grand Champion. With Houston completed, we made the quick turn around and to Austin we went. This was it, my last show, EVER. I had a medium wool lamb that I was pretty proud of, named Duke. As I walked through the gate into the ring, Duke was pulled fairly quickly on the walk and we won the class. When it was time for the division drive, I had a great cheering section and when I won Reserve Medium Wool Lamb, they were a loud group. I have learned that you never take anything for granted, and I wasn’t taking the Grand Drive for granted. Duke and I went back in the ring for the final time, this was for all the marbles. I think he knew this was important, because once I set him up, he never moved again. I ended my show career with the Rodeo Austin Reserve Grand Lamb! I had a show career of accomplishments that many only dream of. 
 
Outside of stock shows, I was a member of the Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassadors. This organization gave me the opportunity to educate others about livestock, broaden my circle of friends and learn about livestock and agricultural issues. I was also very active in school activities and FFA. I was fortunate to become an FFA member in Eighth grade and was a local officer each of my high school years, serving as Sands FFA President my junior and senior years. My sophomore year, I won the El Rancho District and the Area 2 Soil Stewardship speaking contest and was a State Contestant. My junior year, I was the El Rancho District Sentinel and I ended my FFA career as the El Rancho District President. I was inducted into the National Honor Society my Sophomore year and was the National Honor Society President my Senior year. I also became a member of the Student Council and served as President. Both organizations kept me busy with volunteer activities and community service activities. Senior year was also the year of One Act Play. 
 
One Act play was defiantly an eye opener for me. I had never been interested in Drama Club or wanted to be on stage, but the OAP director asked me if I would be on the crew to run the light board. I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into, but I figured it was going to be a fun experience. Not only did I run the light board, I built many different props that we used during our play. We had the privilege of performing a documentary-drama. The play was called “A Texas Tragedy: The New London School Explosion”. We were district champions as well as being awarded technical crew. We were also bi-district runners up where we also received technical crew and I was awarded best technician. When area arrived, we were on a stage bigger than we had ever practiced on and knew we had to have a great performance to move on. We were advanced out of area onto regionals. Our adventure ended at regionals, where we were the state alternates. 
 
Golf was a sport that I loved the days that I shot well and hated the days I didn’t have a good round. I started playing as a sophomore and was privileged to be on Regional Qualifier teams all three years. This past May, we made school history by being the first golf team (boys or girls) to play at the State Tournament. To play at the state tournament was a dream come true and I played my best golf ever there breaking my personal record in both rounds. 
 
I consider myself very lucky. I have parents who have supported me in every activity I have been involved. I have grandparents who travel to support me in every activity they can get to. I had the best and most supportive family, friends, coaches, teachers, and administrators there were. They were always cheering me on, pushing me to work harder, to be better, and in the end, they have shown me that nothing is impossible and for that, I am forever grateful.