Commissioner Miller Honors Sarita Short From Valera With January ‘GROW’ Award (1/17/2017)

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is pleased to honor Sarita Short, a senior from Panther Creek Consolidated Independent School District (Panther CISD) in Valera, Texas, as the winner of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s monthly GROW award. The award Gives Recognition for Outstanding Work to middle and high school students who demonstrate leadership and excellence inside and outside the classroom.


“I’d like to say how proud I am of Sarita for earning this month’s GROW award,” Commissioner Miller said. “Young Texans like Sarita make me hopeful for the future of our great state. She’s got the talent and the drive to succeed that has been fueling success in Texas for hundreds of years. Way to go, Sarita!”


Sarita was chosen from hundreds of Texas students for demonstrating leadership and academic success in her school activities, as well as her commitment to community service.


“It is a true honor to be selected as the Texas Department of Agriculture's January 2017 GROW award winner,” Sarita said. “I would like to thank the many people who have helped me develop not only as a person, but as an agriculturist. I love the agriculture industry, and hope to stay in it as I continue on to the next chapter of my life. I would like to send my most special thanks to the Texas Department of Agriculture for allowing me to represent them.”


Sarita was nominated for the GROW award by Cindy Dockter, her agriculture teacher.


“I have had the privilege of watching this beautiful young lady grow, mature and prosper over the last 10 years,” Dockter said. “She envelops the definition of leader throughout her school, church and community. Sarita Short is truly an exceptional student that encompasses premier leadership, personal growth and career success.”


Sarita has been participating in stock shows since she was in third grade. Throughout her high school years, she has excelled and grown into a tremendous force. Sarita is the president of her school’s FFA chapter and served as a district FFA officer last year. She has also qualified for the Area IV leadership contest every year in high school and has been in the top five at the area horse judging contest the last three years. Sarita has been very successful with her lamb projects that she has shown through FFA. She has won champion fine wool at the Sandhills Stock Show, and had reserve champion fine wool at Austin and San Angelo stock shows. Dockter said her success is due to her hard work and many hours of dedication to her projects throughout the years.


Additionally, Sarita is the president of Student Council and is a leader on her basketball team. When she’s not leading her team, she’s mentoring younger players to help them improve their skills. Outside of the basketball court, you’ll find Sarita qualifying for the state track meet, where she participates in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. Because of her dedication to the sport, she has had the honor of standing on the medal stand twice at the state track meet.


Furthermore, Sarita participates in One-Act play and was voted best actress and all-star cast at district and area. She has been a part of the Coleman County Cowgirls — a drill team — for the past five years. She was also the Coleman County Rodeo Queen last year. Sarita also gives back to her community by volunteering at the Dove Fest and Hunter's Barbeque. She is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Coleman. She volunteers for vacation bible school and is a member of the choir.


In addition to being involved in numerous activities, Sarita maintains an A average, is on the honor roll and a member of the National Honor Society. She is also taking twelve hours this semester through Cisco Junior College.


After graduation, Sarita plans to attend Texas Tech University and major in animal science with a minor in agricultural communications.


For more on Sarita’s accomplishments, click here. The Texas Department of Agriculture established the GROW award to celebrate outstanding student leaders who demonstrate excellence in either their academic or extracurricular activities. Students can be nominated by community leaders such as teachers, coaches, school administrators, mayors, county judges or anyone else committed to recognizing youth leadership and achievement.