Freshman wins big at livestock shows


High school freshman Madison Counsil already knows what she wants to do when she grows up — and is well on her way.

The Madisonville High School student recently won top honors at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for junior breeding beef grand champion limousin heifer. The 16-year-old has been showing animals for almost a decade and said she took to it immediately.

“I break all my animals,” she said.

The honors student is involved in FCCLA, Future Farmers of America, Student Council and cheerleading. She wants to be an ag lobbyist, “representing farmers and ranchers.”

Her older brother Blane Counsil was last year’s MHS valedictorian and is now studying ag economics at Texas A&M University. She’d like to follow in her brother’s footsteps, Counsil said.

Madison is poised and mature – and those who meet her don’t even notice right away that she has nerve damage on the right side of her face. She was born that way but it doesn’t affect her speech or her mind. In fact, she shrugs it off and would rather talk about her heifer.

“Her technical name is Lucy, but I call her ‘little Lucy,’” Madison says with a smile. “She’s at our house in the show barn.”

The young woman said her drive and her knack for taking care of animals is derived from her family, particularly parents Terri and Kevin Counsil.

“I wouldn’t be where I’m at without my parents,” she said.