PLAQUEMINE - Since Christen Diamond was a young student, she has had a love for raising and nurturing animals.

Sharing in her enthusiasm for livestock competition are her parents, Brigette and Steve Diamond.

Although Diamond doesn’t live on what we might call a farm, her family home does have acreage surrounding it in the Plaquemine area.

While most kids are playing soccer, basketball, or attending school activities, Diamond has devoted much of her extracurricular activities to raising and showing animals, especially goats and Bantam roosters and hens.

Through the years, she has captured many awards, but this year she won Grand Champion in the Breeding Goat division at the Iberville Parish Livestock Show, the culmination of many years of hard work.

She went on to capture first place in Showmanship at the District event. 

Her prize goat, Eleanor, gave birth to Saffire, just one day before the state show, as Diamond guided mother and babe to a sixth place in Showmanship, among nearly 75 entrants from throughout the state.

Besides goat breeding, Diamond also captured honors with her Rhode Island Red chickens, which are favorites of her father, who has bred chickens as a hobby for many years.

She hatched and raised the chickens herself and spends much time grooming and caring for them. She advanced to state, winning first place honors in the Pullet and Cockeral categories and other honors in other categories.

Diamond got interested in 4-H at the age of eight while attending a District Show and asked her parents if she could compete. “Without the 4-H and FFA, I wouldn't be the person I am today,” Diamond said. “FFA changes lives for kids. There are so many benefits.”

On the weekend, after her last opportunity to compete, Diamond came home to find an acceptance letter to Northwestern State University. She hopes to attend Southeastern State University or Northwestern to pursue a degree as a registered nurse.

Students interested in FFA Livestock competition and 4-H activities can contact the local 4-H office in Iberville Parish.