Meet the National Proficiency Winner in Nursery Operations-Entrepreneurship/Placement--Reighly Lou Blakely of OolagahFri, 26 Oct 2012 16:33:48 CDT
The Agricultural Proficiency Awards honor FFA members who, through their Supervised Agricultural Experiences have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers. Students can compete for awards in 49 areas covering everything from Agricultural Communications to Wildlife Management. Each award area has two categories, placement and entrepreneurship- although in some award area- those two categories are combined.
Placement proficiency awards are given to those whose SAEs are related to employment, apprenticeships, or internships at an agribusiness or agriculture-related organization. Entrepreneurship proficiency awards are given to those whose SAEs are related to ownership of an agribusiness or agriculture-related organization. Proficiency awards are given out at the local, state and national levels. .
Here in 2012, Oklahoma has advanced and brought to Indianapolis 20 National Profiency Finalists out of the 49, which was the third most Finalists behind Georgia and California. By the end of the afternoon on Friday, Oklahoma had claimed 8 National Profiency Titles, matching the number the state claimed two years ago at the national convention. Georgia claimed ten national titles, with Oklahoma and Georgia well ahead of other states with multiple titles in the Profiency Award categories.
The 2012 National Proficiency Award in Nursery Operations- Entrepreneurship/Placement was awarded to Reighly Lou Blakely of the Oolagah, Oklahoma FFA Chapter.
By the time she was five, Blakely could identify nearly all of the plants grown in the family greenhouse. As she grew older, she learned how to perform root divisions, take cuttings from stock plants and properly transplant a variety of bedding plants, herbs and succulents. Presently, Blakely grows 15 varieties of tomato plants, five varieties of basil, four kinds of aloe, 12 different aloes and succulents and much more. She is supported by her parents Rae Ann and Lyle and her FFA advisor Josh Blair.
Blakely purchased the greenhouse from her parents a few years ago and has expanded her operation. She specializes in plants not sold by big box retailers and sells exclusively through farmers markets in the Tulsa area. Social media is a large part of her success, Blakely says, allowing her continual contact with her customers.
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Our exclusive coverage from the 2012 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis is a service of the Oklahoma FFA Association and the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Association. Click here for more information about this youth organization. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
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