Marshall's Laykyn Rainbolt earns third place in state competition

Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 01:47 PM

Laykyn RainboltLaykyn Rainbolt is no stranger to the Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference.

She’s been attending with her father for many years, but 2019 was different. The North Arkansas College sophomore didn’t just attend the conference, she was also a competitor. 

Those efforts produced some accolades as she earned third place in the Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference College Discussion Meet.  She competed against students from other colleges and universities from all over the state.

“I’ve grown up watching it,” Laykyn said of the discussion meet. “Honestly, I’ve been scared of it since I was a little kid, but finally, I saw it as a way to share my ideas.”

Laykyn admits that she was inspired to finally compete in the discussion meet after watching Northark’s 2018 representative, Carley Eldridge, take part in it.

“We are very proud of how well Laykyn represented Northark and the Agriculture Program at the state discussion meet,” said Michelle Buchanan, Northark agriculture instructor. “She was in a discussion with some of the best agriculture students across that state representing 2 & 4 year colleges.”

The topic Laykyn was most excited to tackle in the competition came on the second day and involved discussing ways to get STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) students interested in agriculture.

The topic that was most difficult for her to discuss dealt with how to get farmers to take advantage of financial opportunities.

“That came on the first day,” Laykyn said. “I just don’t have much experience in all of the sectors.”

Coincidentally, that was the same topic Laykyn had to discuss during Northark’s discussion meet in November 2018 where she competed with three of her fellow Northark Agri Club members to qualify for the state meet.

Most of Laykyn's experience with agriculture comes from working on the family’s farm in Searcy County.

“We raise certified Angus beef,” Laykyn said. “I’ve been showing cattle since I was 3.”

Speaking of her family, Laykyn said her winning experience at the Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference is due to her father, Don Rainbolt, and his involvement with Farm Bureau.

Her father, Don has been a member of Farm Bureau since 1999, serving on the Searcy County board since 2007, and serving as an officer for the last nine years.

Laykyn plans to continue her involvement with agriculture. She is currently majoring in animal science at Northark with plans to transfer to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.  She has turned her eyes upon on a new major.

“I’m looking at pre-vet,” Laykyn said.

Laykyn is considering studying to become a veterinarian after a recent experience at Harrison Animal Clinic, where she is currently an intern.

“I recently got to watch a calf be borne by C-section (Cesarean Section), and that really made me start thinking about being a vet,” Laykyn said.

A 2017 graduate of Marshall High School, she thought she was on a straight road to the University of Arkansas. “For financial reasons I decided to come to Northark for two years, and I am so glad I did! I got to be more involved and was able to be Agri Club president.”

Rainbolt would encourage any student wanting to major in agriculture to choose Northark first.   “I just got a lot of opportunities here that I might not have somewhere else.”

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