Alexandra Mackey, senior at Central Hardin High School, hopes to use her FFA and farming experience to become a veterinarian.
Most of her family has been with FFA in the past and she said it was like continuing a family line.
âEveryone was really welcoming and it’s a fun organization,â she said of FFA, adding that the chapter is like family. âIt helps teach leadership skills and public speaking has really helped me a lot. “
For some, being part of the FFA is a tradition for their family, but recently it has seen many new members who do not come from an FFA or an agricultural background.
âI think it’s really cool that more people are getting involved,â she said.
She is currently President of Central Hardin FFA and wants to continue opening the club to more people and breaking down stereotypes.
Jayna Thompson, sponsor of the FFA, said Mackey is a real leader.
“She’s fun, hardworking, and school witty,” said Thompson. “She brings a lot of diversity to the table as she plays varsity volleyball, is involved with her youth group in her church and is the president of our FFA chapter.”
She called Mackey a “real farm girl.”
âI’ve only had five families that have participated in the farming program here in Central where one parent is a full-time farmer and Alexandra’s family is one of them,â she said. âHaving a student who can provide these examples in an agriculture classroom is invaluable. “
After graduation, Mackey plans to attend Western Kentucky University for pre-vet training and hopes to go to Auburn University for a veterinary medicine degree.
She will study large and small animals, but hopes to work more with large animals upon graduation. She lives on a farm and sees the need to take care of the large farm animals in the area.
Mackey’s love for animals continues to rival horses.
âI got my first horse when I was 6,â she says.
Mackey competes in barrel and pole bending races when she has time.
The barrel race, she said, is a timed event with three barrels arranged in a triangle. The rider should get the horse to go around everyone as fast as he can. The average time is 16 seconds, she said.
Bending the poles is a line of several poles and the horse and rider should descend straight down and weave between them.
âThis one is really difficult because they are close to each other,â she said.
Part of the challenge is getting your horse to change direction a few times, she said.
There must be a lot of trust between the horse and the rider. The horse can change direction quickly and when you’re going fast a little adjustment in what’s going on can be bad, she said.
The horse has to trust the rider as well, because if he doesn’t trust you, he won’t be willing to enter this arena with all the noise and banners, she said.
Volleyball is another big influence in Mackey’s life. She has been playing since the sixth grade. She plays on the Central team and on a club volleyball travel team.
âI love the community and how close I am to my teammates and coaches,â she said of volleyball.
She also likes the challenge of sport and competition.
She has considered playing volleyball after high school, but thinks she will focus more on her school after graduation.
Central Hardin volleyball coach William Rineker has said Mackey is a player coaches dream of working with.
âHer work ethic is second to none and her super positive attitude is so contagious and makes all of her teammates and coaches better just by being around her,â he said. “Although Alex is a star volleyball player, she doesn’t hesitate to give all the credit to her teammates for helping her get to where she is.”
He described her as “selfless, caring and always ready to do what is best for her team”.
“I can’t imagine coaching next year without her on the team, she will be sadly missed by all of us,” he said.
You can reach Becca Owsley at 270-505-1416 [email protected]