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Gustine High freshman Grant Hazan is raising and showing sheep as one of his FFA activities.

GUSTINE - Gustine High freshman Grant Hazan has been around the ag lifestyle all his life, and is looking forward to further broadening his horizons through FFA.

Hazan has wasted no time becoming involved in FFA, continuing the livestock interest which started when he was in 4-H and won his first Merced-Mariposa Section speech event, the Creed competition. He will be advancing to the region competition.

Hazan started his livestock journey at the age of 9 when he decided to raise and show sheep, with the guidance of his older sister Aubrie Hazan, who was also in FFA.

When his family was able to move onto a farm and had their own livestock facilities, Hazan shared, his interest in livestock was cemented.

“I’ve been around sheep and all types of animals my whole life,” said Hazan, who is the son of Russell and Julie Hazan. “I also saw growing up how much fun my sister was having with FFA, and all the activities she was in and that really sparked my interest to get involved.” 

One of those first involvements was the FFA Creed competition.

“Being in Creed speaking I have gained a lot of confidence,” shared Hazan. “It has taught me how to not be nervous and be more excited about public speaking. In the future, when the pandemic passes, I hope to (speak) in front of people instead of virtually.”

In addition to future competitions and other FFA activities, Hazan looks forward to continuing his livestock involvement.

This year Hazan will be showing in his first year for FFA in the Merced Fair, although the event may be virtual.

As a 4-H member last year, Hazan said, he was able to sell a goat that he was raised but was unable to sell his lamb.

“I was truly bummed out when I wasn’t able to show and sell my lamb because I put so much time and effort to get this lamb ready,” shared Hazan. “I’m happy I will get the chance to sell my lamb this year.”

Hazan spends many hours each week tending to his sheep.

His routine includes feeding the lambs twice a day, making sure they have fresh water, and walking them 30-45 minutes a day during the week - longer on weekends.

That routine will continue until the fair rolls around in early summer.

His breeding flock was also the subject of Hazan’s project competition entry, in which he demonstrated his knowledge and mastery of caring for and raising sheep.

He has strong aspirations for his FFA future - starting with his goal of excelling at the Central Region FFA Creed competition and advancing to the state event.

Hazan would also like to serve as a chapter officer - with an eye on eventually running for state office.

He is also looking forward to attending conferences and other events at which he can meet people and forge connections for his future. 

His involvement in FFA has already paid dividends and will help him in the long run, Hazan shared.

“I’ve have become a better speaker, and from there I want to be a good leader overall,” reflected Hazan. “But as I go through my high school career in FFA , I want to become a role model for the underclassmen and also the members in 4-H as well.”