Here's Details on Oklahoma Finalists Here in Indy This Week at National FFA ConventionFri, 24 Oct 2008 21:28:42 CDT
Here is a complete rundown of all of the finalists that we have here in Indianapolis from the state of Oklahoma. There are a total of 21 National Profiency Award Finalists from Oklahoma- the most that any single state has this year- and we have a thumbnail sketch of all of them here- plus a look at a couple of the other finalists that are in the hunt for national honors here in 2008.
HO Sargent Finalist
Patrick Bakley strongly believes that everyone can achieve greatness, regardless of their differences. This Tipton FFA member from Tipton, Okla., who is deaf, speaks from experience and by example. He developed a presentation on diversity awareness and presented it to the local Senior Citizens Center. He co-organized an assembly on overcoming diversity for elementary students during National FFA Week and led his class and chapter in discussions on diversity. He also wrote and delivered a unity sermon entitled “The Colors of the Rainbow” at his church and helps teach children about agriculture at the Tipton Children’s Home, where he lives.
Agricultural Communications - In an attempt to combine her love of livestock and technology, Oklahoma native Kela Kelln purchased a website to promote the growing goat industry in her state. WWW Dot Oklahoma Show Goats Dot Com is a site where people can learn the basics of showing goats, as well as contribute their ideas and best practices on message boards. Kelln develops and maintains the website, sells advertising space to local feed stores and breeders and monitors the message boards daily. In addition to maintaining the goat website, she has started her own business, KNK Designs, as a result of a high demand of breeders asking her to build sites for them. This Fairview FFA member has utilized her knowledge of the goat industry, as well as her technology skills to promote agriculture within her community.
Agricultural Education - As a high school freshman, Nicole Folger stood before a group of fifth grade students and asked them where their food came from. Not satisfied with their responses, the Burlington FFA member decided it was her destiny to be an agriculture educator. To prepare for this future career, Folger has taken many steps to promote agriculture in her community. Taking an active role in her chapter’s Food For America and Partners in Active Learning Support programs, Folger is educating youth about agriculture and FFA.
Agricultural Mechanics Energy Systems - Entrepreneurship/Placement
After spending countless evenings in the oilfield service shop, Brian Holman’s dad told him that he might as well be getting paid to be working. Excited by the idea of working alongside father, the Garber FFA member began doing small jobs around the shop, like cleaning tools. After proving himself, Holman’s responsibilities grew, and his father felt comfortable enough to leave him in the shop to complete tasks while he traveled throughout Oklahoma. He enjoys the trust that is placed in him to complete the job and hopes that this maturity will lead him to one day be a partner of Double H Oilfield.
Agricultural Sales - Entrepreneurship
Growing up around livestock, Ryan Pullan has been raising showing and selling swine, beef and goats for many years. When the owner of Platinum Plus Feed Additives approached him about becoming a dealer, selling the additives he had been using on his animals for two years, Pullan saw and opportunity that he could not refuse. As a dealer, the Oklahoma FFA member sells a wide range of products to consumers that will enhance the performance of their livestock. This means that he must be knowledgeable about the livestock industry and products, as to advise costumers of which additives will perform the specific task they are looking for.
Agricultural Sales - Placement
Longing to pursue a career in livestock nutrition, Dustin Schreibvogel began seeking activities that would develop his skills in that area. The Oklahoma FFA member is the assistant manager at Morris Feed Store. He is responsible for all phases of the operation, including loading and unloading feed, stocking shelves, sales and inventory management. The store specializes in livestock feed and medications, and livestock equipment sales. The Lone Grove plans to take the skills he has learned to become a livestock nutritionist, focusing and research and development.
Aquaculture - Entrepreneurship/Placement
Burlington FFA member Kyle Spade is not allowed to be employed by the Byron State Fish Hatchery because his father already works there. He doesn’t let this stop him from pursuing his interest in aquaculture, in 2007 he clocked more than two hundred and eighty hours of unpaid time at the hatchery. Spade volunteers his time feeding, weighing and assisting in fish reproduction. Planning to pursue a career in fisheries management, the Oklahoma student understands that the knowledge he is gaining at the Byron State Fish Hatchery is vital to his success in that field.
Dairy Production - Entrepreneurship
Driven by a desire to make his father proud of him, Tyler Schafer began showing dairy heifers at the age of nine. He was instantly hooked on the competitive atmosphere of the show ring and year after year could not wait to exhibit his animals at the fair. When he began his S-A-E, the Lomega FFA member was already knowledgeable in the dairy industry. With the motivation of winning top awards, Schafer breeds for superior genetics and high milk production, making his heifers very marketable to consumers in the industry. In 2007, he sold animals to producers in New Mexico, Oklahoma, California and Wisconsin.
Diversified Livestock Production - Placement
Taking every opportunity given to her to work with animals, Kailin Jenkins takes an active role in her family’s diversified livestock farm. The first goal she wanted to accomplish was learning about diseases and determining which ones reaped the most havoc on a livestock operation. The Stillwater FFA member was also interested in learning about the selection of quality breeding animals. Accomplishing both of these goals, Jenkins has gained the confidence needed to pursue a career in Agricultural Relations.
Diversified Crop Production - Placement
Having a passion for the diversified crop industry, Lindsey Hankey also has the knowledge of grain and forage production to back it up. Working with area crop producers, the Burlington FFA member understands that farmers work long and hard hours, but reap financial benefits that are appealing to her. Pursing a degree in agronomy at Oklahoma State University, Hankey plans to start her own wheat and alfalfa enterprises, utilizing the knowledge she has learned by developing a successful supervised agricultural experience.
Equine Science - Entrepreneurship
With a great-uncle who was a sixteen-time rodeo world champion, Sage Shoulders has been riding and competing her whole life. Training her own horse to rope, the Oilton FFA member realized that she had a gift for understanding how to train horses to acquire desired results. Others have witnessed this ability and contracted Shoulders to train their horses to compete at a high level. The Oklahoma native plans to continue rodeoing while she pursues a degree in Animal Science with hopes of one day becoming a veterinarian.
Environmental Science and Natural Resources - Entrepreneurship/Placement
Living in the state that leads the country in producing Natural Gas, Oklahoma FFA member Ryan Ball works for a company that produces natural gas wells and provides oil field services throughout the state. With the leadership he has obtained in FFA and his knowledge in the oil servicing business, Ball is involved in every aspect of the oil field service, including preparing oil drill sites, securing the drill and taking soil samples to detect for natural gas. He will pursue a degree in petroleum engineering from Oklahoma State University and owning his own company.
Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production - Entrepreneurship/Placement
Wanting to carry of the family tradition, Ryan Luttmer has been working on his Oklahoma cotton farm for as long as he can remember. A family farm for more than seventy-five years, Luttmer Farms is a twelve hundred acre farm. Helping in all aspects of the farm, from planting and harvesting, to marketing the crop, the Canute FFA member plans to join the Army after high school and obtain his college degree. He hopes to continue the family tradition of growing cotton.
Food Science and Technology - Entrepreneurship/Placement
Wheat is a very important crop that is utilized in many everyday foods and Okeene FFA member Whitney Day is working to ensure that the public is receiving the best possible product. As a research assistant at Okeene Milling Company, Day conducts tests on wheat, testing the moisture, absorption and protein of the crop. She understands that the research she does is important, because humans will consume the final product. Because of her experience, Day is planning to continue her research at a different milling company as she completes her degree in psychology.
Forage Production - Entrepreneurship/Placement
Thomas Allen believes that growing up on a farm is the perfect up bringing, and for as long as he can remember forage production has been an intricate part of his life. The Burlington FFA member owns and harvests four hundred acres of alfalfa in Northwest Oklahoma. As a forth generation farmer, Allen understands the hard work that is required to have a profitable operation, and has proven his abilities to increase his responsibilities on the farm. Working in forage production has earned Allen more than eleven thousand dollars and is money he will use to fund his education at Oklahoma State University.
Grain Production - Entrepreneurship
Bobby Kokojan prides himself on being a skilled and efficient farm equipment operator. Since he was nine years old, he has been driving the tractor around his father’s farm. These skills come in handy while the Oklahoma FFA member farms his eight hundred acres of wheat and sorghum. Kokojan insures his crops so that if there is a drought, he will not suffer financially. This fiscal responsibility will help him as he works toward fulfilling his life-long dream of being a farmer.
Grain Production - Placement
As soon as Seth Hankey was old enough to perform small tasks around the farm, he was outsourcing himself to local grain producers. As the Burlington FFA member became more knowledgeable in grain production, farmers began to trust him and give him more responsibilities and compensating him for his time. His current employer farms more than twenty-three hundred acres of wheat in Northwest Oklahoma. Haney’s responsibilities include operating the combine and driving the grain truck. He plans to attend Oklahoma State University to major in agronomy with a minor in animal science.
Nursery Operations - Placement
Rashele Blakley owns her own greenhouse that she purchased from her parents as a teenager. The Oologah FFA member grows a wide variety of herbs and aloe vera, as well as some old fashion vines and flowers that are difficult to find. In addition, she raises perennials and heirloom tomatoes. Blakley sells her herbs and flowers at farmer’s markets in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She understands that building strong relationships with her customers is very important and believes that these relationships have resulted in a dramatic increase in her clientele. She will attend Oklahoma State University where she will study agricultural business and agricultural communications.
Swine Production - Entrepreneurship
Growing up on a cattle and sheep farm, James Pfeiffer was determined to begin his own swine business, even though his parents were hesitant. The then ten year old began saving aluminum cans to pay for a farrowing house. By the time he entered FFA at Mulhall - Orlando High School, Pfeiffer was already breeding and showing hogs. According to him, the key to successfully marketing hogs is to be successful in the show ring, and Pfeiffer has done just that. In 2007 he had the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion hogs at the Tulsa State Fair. He plans to expand his swine operation and continuing providing young people with qualities animals to exhibit in county fairs.
Swine Production - Placement
In hopes of earning enough cash to expand his diversified livestock operation, Garrett Stipe works for two livestock producers, Box’s Show Pigs and E and E Livestock Company. At both operations, Stipe is responsible for watering and feeding the pigs, vaccinating, keeping records and sanitization. Since becoming employed with both companies, the Stillwater FFA member has earned enough money to buy three additional gilts and purchase a vehicle.
Wildlife Production and Management - Entrepreneurship
Growing up in a rural community gave Chase Kokojan the opportunity to be surrounded by nature’s playground. Everything about nature intrigued him and when his FFA advisor presented him with an idea for his S-A-E, he jumped at the chance to turn his hobby into a career. The Drummond FFA member establishes wildlife habitats for both quail and deer. He hatches and releases quail, while surveying their progress, planting food plots and trapping predators. He also creates food plots for deer, luring them to areas that will be more beneficial for hunters, thus controlling the population.
Wildlife Production and Management - Placement
Responding to an ad in the newspaper for the Great Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge, Kellie Whipple knew she had found her dream job. The Alva FFA member works at the habitat, which is home to more than three hundred species of birds and thirty different types of animals. After two summers, Whipple assists in scheduling and managing the other youth workers in addition to general maintenance tasks around the farm. Whipple plans to attend Oklahoma State University and major in Animal Science or Natural Resource Conservation.
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