Published 5/29/2012 in Youth In ExcellenceAgriculture is a huge part of Eli Stalker's life.
Growing up, the Satanta High School graduate helped out on the family farm, working cattle, driving tractors and hauling hay.
The ag background spurred Stalker's interest in pursuing animal sciences when he attends Kansas State University next fall. The recent high school graduate said he'll likely pursue his academics in the beef industry.
"My favorite classes were ag because I come from a farm," Stalker wrote in a questionnaire provided to The Telegram. "We learned a lot, about how the stuff we grow on the farm is made into food. I became more interested in the (subject) because of my farming background."
As a high schooler, the student athlete lettered in football and basketball, and also made the honor roll list. Other awards include the High Plains Academic All League, Billy's 10 Best, an athletic scholarship, and he participated in Scholars Bowl and Future Farmers of America.
One of the most memorable moments for the lifetime USD 507 student was taking third at a national land judging competition and winning state with the meats team this year, as well.
"We spent quite a lot of hours (practicing) for the team," he said in a separate interview. "We came in three times a week after school, came in before school, and had other practices occasionally."
In his free time, Stalker said, he enjoys riding dirt bikes, reading, playing Xbox, watching television, and, of course, helping his dad out on the farm.
For high schoolers on their own road to graduation in the years ahead, Stalker has some advice for avoiding a disorder he himself suffered during his final year, he said.
"Get vaccinated for senior-itis," he wrote. "Take ag classes and work really hard, and it will help you with college choice and scholarships."
The graduating senior who wants to be remembered as honest and hardworking also has a message for his fellow graduates.
"Set goals and try your best!" he wrote.
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