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Jackson Sweatman win State 4-H/FFA Meat Goat Project Scholarship

Jackson Sweatman is the definition of an extraordinary young man. He is doing something very different than you would expect from the average 16-year-old teenager. However, he is far from average. He raises and shows prize-winning goats. His mother homeschools Jackson, volunteers in his community in the food pantry at his church Ehrhardt Southern Methodist Church, loves animals and enjoys helping others. He lives in Smoaks with his parents Christine and Chris Sweatman, who are the owners of Adams Station Boer Goats commercial breeding. Jackson is actively involved in the family’s breeding business and loves raising and showing goats. He has won several awards, competitions and placed on the local, state, divisional and national stage.
Christine Sweatman said, “Jackson got introduced to animals and specifically goats at an early age when our family lived in Iowa, we received several goats as a gift from a friend. We decided to expand our herd and the goal was to find a 4-H project for our daughter Geneffer.” Geneffer began showing goats at the county fair and soon after, Jackson got involved in the 4-H project and followed in his sister’s footsteps. “When we lived in Iowa, I learned lots of lessons from my sister about showing goats,” said Jackson. In 2012 the family moved home to South Carolina to work in the family trucking business, they brought their herd of goats with them from Iowa and started Adams Station Boer Goats. “Geneffer is a student at Clemson in the Animal Science Program, but Jackson continues to impress me with his passion, care and the pride he takes in raising and showing his goats,” said Christine.
After moving to South, Carolina Jackson got active in Colleton County 4-H programs and participated in the South Carolina 4-H/FFA Meat Goat Project with other youths across the state. Those who participate in the project learn the basic principles of animal science, management practice, and how if all influences the livestock industry by owning and caring for a project goat. Participates develop integrity, sportsmanship, decision-making capability, and public speaking skills through participation in demonstrations, tours, judging, and exhibits showing their goat. These are all characteristics and attributes held by Jackson. Over the years, Jackson has had the opportunity to travel to other states and national competitions, including the North American International Livestock Expo meeting professionals, while watching and learning firsthand skills.
Jackson said,“ What I love about participating in the 4-H project and showing goats is that I have the opportunity to travel to meet others, including professional who I can learn from to improve my skills and techniques. My favorite part about showing goats is meeting newcomers in the 4-H project and working one-on-one with them to teach them how to show their goat. I help teach a newcomer so well that she placed ahead of me at the same competition and won her first showing at a State Fair. Competing is the fun part, but it’s not all about winning for me, it’s about having the opportunity to meet people, teach and help others.” Jackson would encourage newcomers and others in the 4-H project by saying, “Don’t let your defeats; defeat you.” This is a life lesson he learned to participate in the project which he shared saying “sometimes things don’t always go your way and you may feel defeated or discouraged, but you shouldn’t give up or let those things defeat you, it’s just one way you learn life lessons to do better and be better.”
Jackson’s hard work and positive attitude continue to be rewarded. He recently won 4-H/FFA Meat Goat Project Scholarship, which came with a $1,200 cash prize toward his education. Dawn Stuckey, 4-H Youth Development Agent, said, “For several years I have been able to see Jackson mature as an individual and herdsman. Once the new kid on the block, now he is offering his knowledge and lessons learned to others in the 4-H/FFA Meat Goat Project and his other 4-H projects. He has the unique ability to befriend anyone and make them feel that they are valued and important. I’ve seen Jackson take time away from his preparation to assist other novice showmen and herd owners on how to maximize their potential. In the competition ring, that is a rare and special quality. I am happy to see his efforts rewarded with this scholarship.”
Nelson Mandela said, “Youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.” Jackson Sweatman is a youth that is the embodiment of this quote. When asked what he plans to do after completing his requirements for graduation, Jackson said, “I love cooking, preferably Italian cuisine and plan to attend culinary art school then a four-year college. I hope to open my restaurant serving farm to table foods and meats fresh from local growers.”
We look forward to great things in the future from Jackson Sweatman.

Cokeitha Gaddist
Cokeitha Gaddist (98 Posts)