Jenks student, Maddy Bowman, sees success in FFA, business world
Hard work, dedication and discipline are words people like to use when describing themselves, but few truthfully put those into action.
Jenks High School sophomore Maddy Bowman is one of the few that walks the walk.
Not only is Maddy a student at Jenks, but she is a member of the Jenks High School FFA program and is a new business owner.
When it comes to the agricultural area of her life, Maddy is not just a member of the Jenks FFA Chapter, but she is an officer and is accomplished in the sheep showing business.
“It is a lot more difficult than most people think when they first get into it,” Maddy said. “The past two years, I have really gotten invested in it. It is a lot of time and a lot of work. We start with the sheep in the summer and have them all year. We have to get in early and stay late.”
Maddy’s mother, Kerri Bowman, was a successful FFA member when she was growing up in Yale.
“I told her when she was in seventh grade, she should try ag and she fell in love with it,” Kerri said. “She loves her FFA teachers and they give her so much support. It is great having both of my daughters involved in ag.”
Maddy’s younger sister, Brooklyn, who is an eighth-grade student at Jenks, is also a member of the Jenks FFA Chapter.
“It was love at first sight when I got into it,” Maddy said. “You get to meet a lot of great people from across the state. It is cool following in my mom’s footsteps. She helps a lot. I didn’t have much success when I first started. I didn’t know a lot. I had to learn from watching other people and eventually it just clicked toward the end of my ninth-grade year. The way you show is different with every sheep. It has to click every year with every sheep.”
Maddy said the process of training sheep takes numerous days.
“When you first get them, they have never been haltered, walked or anything. They just do whatever they want. You have to sit on a bucket and wait until they eventually come up to you. Then you have to catch them and tie them up for a while and pet them or just leave them be depending on the sheep. Every sheep is different. They have good days and bad days. Some are easier and some are more difficult.”
Before she could start having success showing, Maddy said she had to refine her skills.
“You have to act. You can’t just stand there. You have to make sure your sheep looks good all the time throughout the show.”
Maddy said the Jenks FFA program has taught her a lot in her time so far.
“You have to work hard and have perseverance because there are days you don’t want to get up and feed your sheep, but you have to. The teachers and other students in FFA are very supportive and it truly shows you how to be toward other people. It teaches you how you have to work hard in every aspect of your life.”
The leadership side of FFA is a big proponent of the program. Students are provided with what is called “Career Development” opportunities in a variety of fields. Maddy participates in the food science and public speaking areas.
In public speaking, students must give their speech to a panel of judges and then they are graded and placed based on how they did with a question segment following the speech.
Last year, as a freshman, Maddy also participated on the opening and closing team, which went to the state competition. On the opening and closing team, students learn how to conduct a professional meeting. They are graded on how they present themselves and how everyone speaks.
As if being a student at Jenks High School and a successful member of the FFA program isn’t enough, Maddy has taken on a whole other responsibility with her business.
The high school sophomore launched her own online clothing business this past October. The store is called Madalyn Avenue. The website for the store is www.shopmadalynavenue.com.
“I was able to save up enough money and I went to a fashion market and purchased clothes I wanted to sell on my website,” Maddy said. “It is doing pretty well. It’s tough to juggle everything, but it is a great experience and I love it. It has been really good so far.”
Maddy, who’s father, Craig Bowman, is a local businessman and Farmers Insurance Agent, began working on the new online clothing store this past summer. She handles everything with the business. She takes every photo, handles the social media posts, built and runs the website, chooses the clothes, talks with the distributing company, packs everything and handles the shipping herself.
Maddy said Madalyn Avenue is preparing to launch its spring wear and she hopes the business will help pay for college. The spring line launch will take place March 1.
Even though she has several years before she has to make a decision, Maddy said she would like to attend Oklahoma State University after high school and pursue a degree in nursing.
When asked if she was giving advice to a middle school student on whether they should look in to joining the Jenks High School FFA program, Maddy had this to say:
“I would tell them they definitely should try it because you never know what is going to happen with other things. You can always fall back on it and those people will always be there for you. Even if you are not super involved, doing at least one thing will better prepare you for the rest of your life.”
Maddy’s list of awards and accomplishments during the 2020-2021 school year through Jenks FFA:
-Named 2021 Tulsa County Teen Miss United States Agriculture
-Market Lamb Grand Champion at Tulsa County Fall Livestock Show
-Top-10 Natural Lamb at American Royal National Livestock Show
-Grand Champion Lamb and Reserve Grand Champion Lamb at Skiatook Livestock Show
-Reserve Grand Champion Showman at Skiatook Livestock Show
-Breed Champion Natural Lamb at Skiatook Livestock Show
-Breed Champion Shropshire Lamb at Skiatook Livestock Show
-Reserve Grand Champion Showman at Owasso
-Reserve Breed Champion in Oologah
Maddy is also knocking on the door to qualify for the North Eastern Oklahoma Lamb Association Top-25.
HERE ARE MORE PHOTOS OF MADDY SHOWING DURING THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR