Kelsey Elam, MHS Ag teacher and FFA sponsor, Maggie McDonald, John Ward, Superintendent


Maggie McDonald, a senior at Magnolia High School (MHS), was recognized at the December 12, Magnolia School Board meeting for her outstanding achievements in the FFA organization and her contributions to animal science. She has been a faithful member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) organization since the seventh grade. This year, she is serving her second term as Magnolia FFA President. Upon graduation, she will graduate as a completer and concentrator in the Agribusiness and Animal Science pathways in MHS agriculture department. She will continue with her love for agriculture as she seeks a degree in Animal Science.

Maggie shines with her work in the livestock industry. She began showing goats through the 4H program. Since that time, she has expanded her show projects to include sheep, as well as her goats. Maggie had tremendous success with her animals in 2022 as she traveled and competed in shows at the local, state, and national levels. She kicked her senior year off with a trip to Reno, NV and will continue exhibiting through Christmas break and into January where she will compete at the National Western Livestock Show in Denver, CO. Maggie’s exhibition accomplishments include:

Reno, NV                               --- Grand Champion White Face Cross --- 4th Overall Market Lamb --- 4th Overall Breeding Ewe

Georgia                                  --- Grand Champion Market Lamb

4 States Fair Texarkana     --- Grand Champion Market Lamb --- Grand Champion Market Goat

Arkansas Youth Expo         --- Grand Champion Market Goat --- Grand Champion Breeding Doe --- Grand Champion Market Lamb --- Grand Champion Breeding Ewe

She won all shows that she entered, earning her several banners, buckles, trophies, and a cash award of $10,000.

Arkansas State Fair             --- Grand and Reserve Champion Market Lambs --- Grand and Reserve Commercial Ewes --- Grand Champion Market Goats along with four division champions.

Arkansas Farm Bureau recognizes students on their success at the Arkansas State Fair through their Purple Circle Club. Maggie received nine purple circles at the 2022 Arkansas Farm Bureau Purple Circle Induction, the most that has ever been issued to one single student.

In November, Maggie traveled to the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky where there were 1250 lambs exhibited from across the nation. Maggie exhibited the 4th Overall Junior Market Wether Lamb. She also exhibited the Reserve Grand Champion Doe, and she was named the Reserve Grand champion senior showman.

Maggie will be traveling during Christmas break to compete at the Arizona National Livestock Show. She was named Grand Champion in Phoenix last year, so she hopes to find the same success this year. In January, she will be showing her livestock in Denver, Colorado at the National Western Livestock Show.

Maggie was named a National FFA Proficiency Goat Finalist Winner for Arkansas and in October, Maggie traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana, to the National FFA Convention. She represented the state of Arkansas as she was recognized on the national stage during the Fifth General Session at the 95th National FFA Convention. Of the four top finalists, Maggie was the only high school student in a group of college freshmen that competed for the award.  

Showing livestock is not all Maggie does! Maggie runs her own animal blood testing business, M2 Genetics and Testing. Her business includes a laboratory service, where she tests ruminant animal’s blood, mainly sheep, goats, and cattle to test if female animals are pregnant thirty days post breeding. Maggie started this business in 2020, during the Covid pandemic. Maggie was recently asked to speak to a Reproduction Physiology class at the University of Arkansas to discuss the protein found in ruminant placentas. Maggie will be completing a FFA agriculture business proficiency application this spring that focuses on her business and how she contributes to the agriculture industry. This application will compete at the state level, with the hope of moving on the national level as well.