National FFA Announces Proficiency Winners During 95th National FFA Convention & ExpoFri, 28 Oct 2022 08:20:46 CDT
Nine winners of the 2022 Agricultural Proficiency Awards were named during the fourth session of the 95th National FFA Convention & Expo on Friday, Oct. 28, which is being held in Indianapolis.
Agricultural Proficiency Awards honor FFA members who, through supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs), have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers. Students compete in areas ranging from agricultural communications to wildlife management. Proficiency awards are also recognized at local and state levels and provide recognition to members exploring and becoming established in agricultural career pathways.
Today, awards were announced for nine of the 45 categories during the fourth general convention session.
These recipients are:
Diversified Crop Production – Entrepreneurship
Ty Steffen of the Newark FFA Chapter in Illinois grows onions, potatoes, peppers, broccoli, eggplant, tomatoes, cauliflower, beets, spinach and more as part of his diversified crop production. As the sole operator, he takes charge of fertilizing, weeding, tilling, harvesting and selling crops at several farmers markets. He also sells at craft shows and an honor hay rack in his community. Steffen is supported by his parents, Tracy and Joe.
Diversified Crop Production – Placement
Logan Jack Bennett of the Colquitt County FFA Chapter in Georgia works 2,500 acres of farmland, growing cotton, peanuts, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, cabbage, broccoli and more. He also helps manage 10 acres of greenhouses. When he began, his tasks included simple maintenance on machinery, sanitizing the packing shed, and operating tractors. As his experiences grew, so did his responsibilities. Bennett is supported by his parents, Jennifer and Brett.Diversified
Diversified Horticulture – Entrepreneurship/Placement
Trenton Jones of the Higginsville FFA Chapter in Missouri works at The Greenhouse at C&M Farms and also owns his own houseplant store, Trent’s Tropicals. He provides high-quality indoor and outdoor plants at affordable prices while helping to raise agriculture awareness. He started his endeavors by selling plants through Facebook. He’s since learned much more about the business, taking charge of all tasks including watering and fertilizing, pest prevention, propagation, creating designs using plants in landscapes and containers, and more. Jones is supported by his father, Chris.
Diversified Livestock Production – Entrepreneurship/Placement
Connor Pence of the Veribest FFA Chapter in Texas owns and operates a breeding goat herd and commercial cattle herd in addition to raising market goats, market lambs, and market swine. When he was just three years old, his grandparents started him out with five does. His desire to produce higher quality goats led to his acquisition of better genetics in his goat projects. Today, his breeding goat project consists of 40 head of does and their offspring. Pence is supported by his parents, Denise and Cory.
Environmental Science and Natural Resources Management – Entrepreneurship/Placement
Lauren Marie Poole of the Winfield FFA Chapter of Louisiana has served as a Youth Conservation Corps member at the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in her area. She worked with various employees during her time at the USFS, including wildlife biologists, to help manage red-cockaded woodpecker preservation. She also worked with groundskeepers and landscapers to help maintain portions of Kisatchie National Forests, campgrounds, boat launches and office areas. Poole is supported by her parents, Barbara and Glen.
Equine Science – Entrepreneurship
Wyatt Allen of the Benjamin Russell FFA Chapter in Alabama is part-owner of 5A Ranch. He raises horses to participate in team roping throughout the country, currently managing 14 head of horses. He purchases horses at an early age, ensuring they are from a good bloodline. He spends four to five hours each day riding and training the horses, providing quality healthcare, and providing a specialized diet that allows the horses to compete at high levels. Allen is supported by his father, Ed.
Equine Science – Placement
Ellie Jane Williams of the Northwest Whitfield FFA Chapter in Georgia works for a 53-acre, 12 stall operation, providing hunter-jumper boarding, lessons, and sales with more than 40 horses on property. The operation specializes in breeding, training horses and riders to be competitive in jumping, movie industry involvements, and treatments. Williams assists with scheduling lessons, vet appointments, breeding, sales appointments, and help set the farm’s show schedules. Williams is supported by her parents, Tatum and Graham.
Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production – Entrepreneurship/Placement
Thomas Rindfuss of the Wynford FFA Chapter in Ohio works for his family’s farm, producing 620 acres of soybeans from early spring tillage through fall harvest. Throughout the year, he performs multiples tasks, from welding to driving tractors to installing waterways. He also helps with marketing the crop, choosing varieties and grain storage. Rindfuss is supported by his parents, Shelley and Mike.
Forage Production – Entrepreneurship/Placement
Jay McClure of the Hugoton FFA Chapter in Kansas works for the family farm, producing $1.2 million of forage crops in seven irrigated cycles in 2021. He is tasked with maintaining and repairing all haying equipment and supervising two employees who help with harvesting. He’s also charged with irrigation timing and watering amounts, each set with the goal of producing 7 1/2 tons of forage per acre over the five cuttings of the season. McClure is supported by his parents, Karen and Joel.
The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 850,000 student members as part of 8,995 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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