Kirkland Memorial Grant awarded
Alex Morrison, 19, (center) was awarded the first $1,000 Sam Kirkland Memorial Grant after a standing-room-only fundraiser auction preceding the March 14 Heart of the Ozarks Angus sale at Ozark Regional Stockyards in West Plains. The grant program was established by Heart of the Ozarks Angus Association in memory of the late Sam Kirkland, a 2014 Bakersfield High School graduate who died in a traffic accident Aug. 15, 2019, while hauling goats to the Salem (Arkansas) Livestock Auction. Alex is the son of Gene and Robin Morrison, the license office contractor in Gainesville. He and Sam Kirkland were very good friends, said Sam’s mother, Cindy Kirkland, who added that she and the rest of the family were delighted that Alex was chosen as the first recipient. Alex works on the family farm, which includes dairy and Angus cattle, and like Sam, he also hauls livestock. “For 19, Alex is a very hard worker,” said his mother, Robin. “I’m not just saying that because he’s my boy. He will get up at 3:30 a.m. to milk and do chores, and he hauls cattle two or three days a week.” His motto, Robin said, is “Haul for Sam.” Alex will use the money toward the purchase of his own cattle trailer. Pictured, from left: Lisa Kirkland and husband Michael of Caulfield, Hannah Kirkland and husband Robbie of Republic, Alex Morrison, Cindy Kirkland, Rickey Kirkland and wife Courtney of Grandby and their two children, Melody and Bryson.