Murfreesboro, TN—The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association (TCA) and Tennessee Cattlemen’s Youth Association (TCYA) recently selected Gracie Giles, Ellie Hensley, Evan Jackson, Lila Sims, and Lauren Wingler as its 2024 Youth Ambassadors. The association is based in Murfreesboro and the Rutherford County area President is Julie Russell. Founded in 1985, the organization includes more than 6,500 members from across the state and the southeast.
Locally, the Youth Ambassador picked for Rutherford County attends Eagleville High School. There, 16-year-old Lauren Wingler has attended many Hereford breed events over the years to build relationships with fellow Hereford breeders. The Hereford beef cattle is a British breed with roots in Herefordshire, which is in the West Midlands of England. Lauren Wingler is a junior at Eagleville High School and is the daughter of Russ and Sally Wingler of Rutherford County. Wingler has been involved in the cattle industry her entire life. She is active in the National and Tennessee Junior Hereford Associations, Eagleville FFA, and Rutherford County 4-H.
The TCA also highlighted Youth Ambassador Gracie Giles, “...the 16-year-old daughter of Robert and Carrie Giles of Anderson County. Giles is a well-rounded, young cattlewoman. She is active in her school, community, and the Anderson County FFA Chapter. Giles also operates her own creative design business in which she focuses on sports photography and agriculture marketing. Giles is a junior at Anderson County High School.”
In Unicoi County, the ambassador is 16-year-old Ellie Hensley. The association told WGNS News that Ellis, “...is the 16-year-old daughter of Neil and Tara Hensley of Unicoi County. Hensley enjoys many aspects of the beef cattle industry, including showing cattle, judging livestock, and assisting with her family’s cow-calf and stocker calf operation. Hensley is a strong leader of the Unicoi County 4-H program. She serves on the 4-H Honor Club and All-Star leadership teams and has recruited countless members to the Unicoi County 4-H livestock project groups. Hensley is a sophomore in the Classical Conversations homeschool program.”
For Benton County, Evan Jackson, age 16, was picked as a Youth Ambassador. “Jackson is the 16-year-old son of Wayne and Karen Jackson of Benton County. Jackson is a dedicated herdsman and advocate for the beef cattle industry. He is active in 4-H and FFA by showing cattle, competing in leadership events, and attending conferences. Through his industry involvement, Jackson has developed a strong work ethic, a desire for learning, and a keen ability to network with others. He is a junior at Riverside High School.”
And located in Humphreys County, Lila Sims was chosen as the TCA Youth Ambassador. According to the organization, she “...is the 17-year-old daughter of Robby and Jerri Lynn Sims of Humphreys County. Sims has a vast knowledge of the beef cattle industry and is continuously working to improve her registered Angus cattle herd. She is active in the National and Tennessee Junior Angus Associations and the McEwen FFA Chapter. She also enjoys playing volleyball. Sims is a senior at McEwen High School.”
Melinda Perkins, Director of Youth Programs and Outreach, is eager to work with the Youth Ambassadors this year. “I am excited to work with the group we have selected as Youth Ambassadors this year. Their time in 4-H and FFA, junior breed associations, and other school activities has undoubtedly equipped them to serve our youth members. I look forward to seeing the new and creative ideas they present.” The purpose of the TCA Youth Ambassadors is to promote the well-being of the cattle industry and to further encourage youth involvement and cooperation in the cattle industry. 2025 TCA Youth Ambassador applications will be available in Fall 2024.
MORE: The Tennessee Cattlemen's Association was founded in 1985 with more than 6,500 members from across the state and the southeast. The organization works to provide the cattlemen of Tennessee with an organization through which they may function collectively to protect their interests and work toward the solution of cattle industry problems and build the necessary goodwill that will bring both governmental esteem and recognition to the industry.