Coming home from livestock shows with a collection of buckles and banners is rewarding. However, for 18-year-old Logan Rosenquist those are not what has made a lasting impression on him as he rounds out his showing career. Logan said he will take three more important assets with him as he nears graduation from Wylie High School in Abilene, Texas: leadership, responsibility and memories.
“Say I can’t, and I will.”
Logan said this simple sentence is the motto he’s lived his life around from an early age. He rises to the challenge when anyone says he can’t do something due to a disability he’s had since infancy.
Born with a tethered spinal cord, Logan’s baby sitter put him down for a nap one day, and when he woke up, he was paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors told his mom he’d be destined to a life in a wheelchair. But Logan had other plans.
“I told my mom, I won’t be in a wheelchair,” he said. “When people told me ‘you won’t be able to show hogs.’ I said, ‘watch me. I can.’ I don’t let my disability get in my way. I can’t carry bags of feed, but I can water, wash, walk, pull babies from sows. It might take me a little longer, but I can do most anything I want to.”
Logan has carried that determination over to the leadership skills he’s acquired through FFA and showing livestock, and he lives by example. He says leadership and responsibility have been the two most important lessons he’s learned through FFA.
“You’ve got all these little kids looking up to you saying, ‘I want to show like that kid. That kid does a pretty good job of showing so if I have the same determination and mindset maybe I’ll be like him one day, winning shows and banners,’” Logan said.
“Don’t give up on your dreams. You’re not going to win them all. Strive to do better than the year before.”
But winning shows and banners take work ethic and the lesson of responsibility. Logan has sacrificed plenty of times out with his friends, so he could work with his livestock. But he knows that work and dedication pay off.
“I tell my friends I have barn chores to do, and to find someone else to fill my spot,” he says. And, those chores extend over to his brother’s pigs too, saying he would never leave his younger brother, Payton, to fend for himself.
“I want to see Payton excel as much as I have,” Logan said. “We help each other out with walking, washing, feeding.
Outside of the barn, Logan finds plenty to keep him busy as well. He is the trainer for the Wylie football team in the fall and serves as the baseball team’s trainer in the spring.
“It’s bittersweet, you know. It hurt to walk into Houston and San Antonio and know you’re never going to step foot in that showring again. And it’s not about the buckles and banners. It’s about the memories you make with family and friends.”
Logan has been showing market hogs since he was 9-years-old and in the third grade. He said both his parents, Shana and Devery Rosenquist, showed livestock when they were younger and encouraged him and his younger brother to get involved as well. It’s through that encouragement and involvement that Logan has made lasting memories.
His favorite memory: Setting in line all night long. Logan says the best memories have been made with his friends and show family waiting to move into their barns at the Texas majors, from about 10 p.m. until 5 or 6 the next morning when they get to move into the barn.
And although those memories are fun, and where friendships are solidified, he still remembers the first show he won.
“The first time I ever won a show was the 2014 West Texas Fair and Rodeo,” he recalls. “I remember that very clearly. Those memories just stick with you. I won with a cross gilt – the one time I showed a gilt. I was in shock when the judge came over there and slapped her on the back.”
“I’m going to miss all of this when it’s over, but it’s time to start a new chapter in my life,” Logan said.
Logan has his future planned out, and it includes involvement in agriculture. He said both his granddads are involved in agriculture – one raises cotton; one is a crop insurer. He hopes to further his involvement in ag as well.
He will attend Cisco College in Abilene on Meats Scholarship this fall. Then, he will transfer to either Texas Tech or Texas A&M and major in meat science with studies in agribusiness.
“The agriculture industry has had such an impact on my life, I just don’t want to give it up like other kids who feel like they are done once their time in FFA is over. I want FFA to be here for kids 20 years from now, so they can experience what I experienced,” Logan said.
With a combination of buckles and banners, leadership skills and responsibilities, this young man’s memories are going to last him a lifetime. Someone told him he would never show livestock, but he showed market hogs and succeeded. Logan Rosenquist is one to watch.