Meet Your 2014 National Proficiency Award Winner in Diversified Livestock- Reighly Blakeley of OologahSat, 01 Nov 2014 06:00:39 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 2014, Oklahoma had 12 finalists vying for national honors in the Proficiency categories- and five of them were named national champions on Friday afternoon in Freedom Hall at the 87th National Convention of the FFA organization. Oklahoma was tied for the third most National winners this year, with only Ohio (7) and Wisconsin (6) claiming more. Oklahoma and Wisconsin were the most efficient in converting national finalists into national champions, with both states having just under fifty percent of their finalists named as the overall winners.
Reighly Lou Blakeley of the Oologah FFA Chapter won National Proficiency title in Diversified Livestock, Entrepreneurship/Placement. Blakley produces and sells top quality livestock on her family's sixth generation farm. Her beef cattle operation produces show calves and seedstock, as well as packaged meat for the local farmers market. While urban sprawl stunted the ability to lease additional land, it also presented the opportunity to market her livestock as retail meat products. In 2009, she purchased 100 laying hens so that she could add another product line at the farmers market. She also raises swine and sheep to show and then use in her meat market. She is supported by her parents Lyle and Rae Blakley.
In talking with Ron Hays after being named national champion on Friday afternoon, Blakeley says that she tries to meet the needs of her customers- and that has meant adapting her production goals of the animals she raises to help meet the needs of her customers. She says her customer base prefers a smaller cut of beef, which means she harvests her animals at a lighter weight than if she was simply feeding them out for a generic market. You can hear their conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
Blakeley is no stranger to the limelight. Earlier this year- she won the 2014 Oklahoma Star in Agribusiness- you can listen to our conversation with her this past May and read more about that achievement by clicking here.
Blakeley was also a National Proficiency Award winner in 2012- that year in Nursery Operations- our story from two years ago can be seen here.
Coverage of the 2014 National FFA Convention and Expo can be seen and heard on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network, OklahomaFarmReport.Com, our Daily Farm and Ranch News Email, Twitter via our Ron_on_RON feed, Facebook , FLICKR and on our Oklahoma Farm Report App- available for Apple and Andrioid Devices.
Our exclusive coverage from Louisville is a service of the Oklahoma FFA Association, the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Association and your Oklahoma Ford Dealers. For more information about this youth organization, click here.
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