Rutherford County Teen to Serve as Tennessee Cattlemen’s Ambassador

(L to R) Lauren Wingler, Evan Jackson, Lila Sims, Gracie Giles, Ellie Hensley
(L to R) Lauren Wingler, Evan Jackson, Lila Sims, Gracie Giles, Ellie Hensley

The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association (TCA) and Tennessee Cattlemen’s Youth Association (TCYA) recently selected Gracie Giles, Ellie Hensley, Evan Jackson, Lila Sims, and Lauren Wingler as its 2024 Youth Ambassadors.

Lauren Wingler is the 16-year-old daughter of Russ and Sally Wingler of Rutherford County. Wingler has been involved in the cattle industry her entire life. She is active in the National and Tennessee Junior Hereford Associations, Eagleville FFA, and Rutherford County 4-H. Wingler has attended many Hereford breed events over the years to build relationships with fellow Hereford breeders. Wingler is a junior at Eagleville High School.

Gracie Giles is the 16-year-old daughter of Robert and Carrie Giles of Anderson County. Giles is a well-rounded, young cattlewoman. She is active in her school, community, and the Anderson County FFA Chapter. Giles also operates her own creative design business in which she focuses on sports photography and agriculture marketing. Giles is a junior at Anderson County High School.

Ellie Hensley is the 16-year-old daughter of Neil and Tara Hensley of Unicoi County. Hensley enjoys many aspects of the beef cattle industry, including showing cattle, judging livestock, and assisting with her family’s cow-calf and stocker calf operation. Hensley is a strong leader of the Unicoi County 4-H program. She serves on the 4-H Honor Club and All-Star leadership teams and has recruited countless members to the Unicoi County 4-H livestock project groups. Hensley is a sophomore in the Classical Conversations homeschool program.

Evan Jackson is the 16-year-old son of Wayne and Karen Jackson of Benton County. Jackson is a dedicated herdsman and advocate for the beef cattle industry. He is active in 4-H and FFA by showing cattle, competing in leadership events, and attending conferences. Through his industry involvement, Jackson has developed a strong work ethic, a desire for learning, and a keen ability to network with others. He is a junior at Riverside High School.

Lila Sims is the 17-year-old daughter of Robby and Jerri Lynn Sims of Humphreys County. Sims has a vast knowledge of the beef cattle industry and is continuously working to improve her registered Angus cattle herd. She is active in the National and Tennessee Junior Angus Associations and the McEwen FFA Chapter. She also enjoys playing volleyball. Sims is a senior at McEwen High School.

Melinda Perkins, Director of Youth Programs and Outreach, is eager to work with the Youth Ambassadors this year. “I am excited to work with the group we have selected as Youth Ambassadors this year. Their time in 4-H and FFA, junior breed associations, and other school activities has undoubtedly equipped them to serve our youth members. I look forward to seeing the new and creative ideas they present.”

The purpose of the TCA Youth Ambassadors is to promote the well-being of the cattle industry and to further encourage youth involvement and cooperation in the cattle industry. 2025 TCA Youth Ambassador applications will be available in Fall 2024.