Cadd a top 10 finisher at DECA convention

A Frenship High School student was named a top 10 finisher for his written entrepreneurship paper and presentation at the international DECA conference in Atlanta last week.

Senior Austin Cadd said he just transferred to Frenship this year from Trinity Christian School. He had never heard of DECA, but when someone told him of its emphasis on business skills, he joined right away.

Austin said he had to write a 30-page business proposal and present it to a judge.

Out of 400 competitors who were the top contestants in their states and countries, Austin moved on from the semifinals on Monday to the finals on May 7. That night, he was called to the stage as a top 10 international finalist. Most of the students called up accepted an award and moved on, but Austin said he took a brief moment to take a selfie with the crowd in the background.

His business paper was inspired by his summer job with Matt Adams, a hay farmer in Brownfield.

“I was tired of flipping irrigation pivots,” Austin said with a sheepish grin. “We decided to come up with a unit where we could just text message it, where I could be in a nice, air-conditioned office.”

Austin’s proposal was for a system he calls Ag Tech, which allows farmers to activate irrigation pivots and get water alerts through text messaging. It also allows farmers to view statistics on water usage.

“I presented to several bankers here in Lubbock to get prepared,” Austin said.

He said he enjoys business and government classes at Frenship. His favorite class, “hands down,” has been with DECA sponsor Amy Baker on the principles of marketing.

“Ms. Baker really helped me out a lot, presenting my ideas,” he said.

Marketing will be part of his life forever, he said.

“No matter what job you have, you’re going to have to speak to your boss or market yourself,” Austin said.

Baker had nothing but kind words for Cadd, noting he was the DECA chapter president this year.

“He really was one of the only students that did it virtually all on his own. He has this intrinsic passion where he loves to work,” Baker said.

His project, she said, will probably make him the first millionaire she has taught.

“The project is about a real business, and about a company that he works for,” Baker said. “I think the project is going to help him become a millionaire.”

Baker said Cadd is the first Frenship student to make it into the top 10 at the international DECA conference.

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