Here at the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association, we firmly believe that the youth in the livestock industry are vital to agriculture’s future. Therefore, we are excited to have two outstanding young people starting with us as interns. We are honored to introduce Melinda Perkins and Justin Young…
Perkins is the 22-year-old daughter of John and Paula Perkins from Henry County. Alongside her parents, Perkins and her siblings, Morgan and Murray, operate a small commercial cattle and purebred Shorthorn cow-calf operation on their family’s century-old farm.
Perkins passion for the cattle industry began at an early age when she would spend time with her dad feeding cows, putting out hay and mineral, and other tasks around the farm. From there, she got involved with 4-H and FFA raising and showing livestock on the local, regional, state, and national levels. Perkins saw much success in 4-H and the National FFA Organization but her most rewarding experience was serving as the Tennessee FFA State Secretary.
Ultimately, her passion for agriculture led her to pursue a degree in Agricultural Communications with a minor in Animal Science at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where she graduated in December. Perkins served as a College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources student ambassador and was a competitive member of the University of Tennessee wool and livestock judging teams during her time at UT.
Young is a first-generation college (soon-to-be) graduate from Middle Tennessee State University, majoring in Agribusiness and minoring in Computer Information Systems. He is originally from south Nashville with minimal exposure to the agriculture industry. More recently, however, he claims Frankewing, Tennessee, where his family’s small family farm is located. Young lived on the farm after high school, where he helped his grandfather manage their small commercial beef operation and attended Columbia State Community College. Working and helping to manage the family farm is when Young realized his passion for agriculture and decided that is what he wanted to do with his life.
Upon graduation from the community college, Young transferred to MTSU and has worked at the Farm Labs, the Tennessee Livestock Center, and the Student-Athlete Enhancement Center on campus. Since attending MTSU, Young has built his resume by earning a 3.9 GPA, as well as working on an undergraduate thesis project focused on beef quality and consistency in the U.S. Additionally, Young has completed a successful internship with Farm Credit Mid-America, and is also a Farm Credit Leader Scholar award recipient.
Young enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and close friends. Justin’s hobbies and interests include hunting, fishing, history, and sports. Justin’s favorite quote is, “The will to succeed without the will to prepare, means nothing.” – Juma Ikangaa