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Goliad junior selected as speech competition finalist

Dec. 8, 2012 at 6:08 a.m.

McCalley Cunningham

GOLIAD - A high school junior from Goliad took home a $1,500 scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., as one of the finalists of the 2012 Free Enterprise Speech Contest at the 79th Texas Farm Bureau annual conference in Waco.

McCalley Cunningham will travel to Washington, D.C. to visit the 112th Congress, the White House and other national monuments.

McCalley, 16, the daughter of Mark and Nugget Cunningham, of Goliad, competed with other district winners representing dozens of counties from across Texas in the annual contest.

The contest began this past summer when McCalley attended a Youth Leadership Conference at Tarleton State University, which qualified her to enter the contest.

The District 12 contest was held in October, where McCalley won the competition before advancing to the finals.

She spoke to approximately 200 Texas Farm Bureau agents and businessmen on the United States free enterprise system, the economy and our fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution.

Contestants were judged on language, voice, use of notes, eye contact and overall persuasiveness.

At Goliad High School, McCalley is vice president of the FFA, first vice president of her Weesatche 4-H Club, National Honor Society Officer and a member of the Ag Mechanics Team, the varsity basketball team, Spanish Club and Texas Association of Future Educators.

She is also active in University Interscholastic League, and she shows market goats at area, county and major stock shows.

McCalley plans to attend Texas A&M University in College Station and major in animal science.

She hopes to become a veterinarian or work in a field dealing with animals and agriculture.

McCalley would most especially like to thank Arleen Peterson for her time, mentoring and amazing support.

McCalley and her family wish to thank Pat Calhoun, the Texas Farm Bureau, Goliad County President, and Russell Boening, State Farm Bureau Officer, for their continued support, as well as Don Sugarek, Texas Farm Bureau Senior Field Representative, for his guidance throughout this process.

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