Nordheim teen shows animals, overcomes obstacles (w/video)

Elena Watts By Elena Watts

Jan. 25, 2014 at 11:02 p.m.
Updated Jan. 25, 2014 at 7:26 p.m.

NORDHEIM - This was the first year since the third grade that Clarrissa Eaton, of Nordheim, showed more than one project at the Nordheim FFA Stock Show.

The 16-year-old showed a lamb that placed fourth and a goat that placed sixth.

"It gave me a better chance of placing higher and earning more money," Clarrissa said. "I plan to show a steer my senior year, and the rest of the money goes to my college fund."

Clarrissa named her lamb Runt because he was underweight when she purchased him from a pen in Alice. She packed 30 pounds on the wether for the show.

"Raising animals teaches me patience during halter-breaking and time management," she said.

Every day, Clarrissa woke at 6:30 a.m. to feed her animals and walked them for two hours after school.

Her routine continued with dinner preparation, homework completion and bedtime about midnight.

She also worked weekends and holidays at a veterinary clinic in Kenedy.

Clarrissa's mother spends much of her time working in McAllen for a home health agency "because that is where the work and the money is."

Her father broke his neck in a wreck about six years ago, which left his right hand impaired.

"He helps me as much as he can," she said. "He taught me to build pens this year because I had to divide two into four."

As the oldest daughter still living at home, Clarrissa is also responsible for keeping the house clean for her father and 12-year-old sister.

She hopes to attend Coastal Bend College in Beeville to become a labor and delivery nurse.

"I can't be a vet because I can't deal with putting animals down," she said. "I want to bring life into the world."

Clarrissa credits her Nordheim ISD agriculture teacher and FFA sponsor, Courtney Bauer, for helping her overcome obstacles along the way.

"She puts her whole heart into this," Clarrissa said about Bauer. "She taught me that no matter what life throws at you, you jump over and keep going."



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