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Agricultural News

Already a Three Time National Winner- William Maltbie Competes for Star in Agri Biz Honors This Week

Sun, 25 Oct 2015 07:31:14 CDT

Already a Three Time National Winner- William Maltbie Competes for Star in Agri Biz Honors This Week

William Maltbie is heading back to a National FFA Convention this week- this time as a Senior at Oklahoma State University. He is headed to Louisville to represent Oklahoma FFA as a Star Finalist in the Agribusiness category- and he has a lot of experience in standing before a room of judges and then hearing his name called out as a National Winner.

You see, William is a three time winner in the National Proficiency Awards competition that are at the heart of determining the very best programs of work for FFA around the United States for that year. Farm Director Ron Hays has talked with Maltbie three times back stage after he was awarded a National Profiency Award- the first in 2010 as the winner in the Turf Grass Management Contest, then again in 2011 as the winner in the Landscape Management Contest and finally back in 2012 as the National Proficiency Contest Winner in the Diversified Horticulture- Entrepreneurship/Placement. Maltbie is one of the very few FFA members in the country that is a three time winner in a national FFA contest.

Fast forward to 2015- and this OSU Senior hopes to make that four. The Burlington FFA Chapter member is wrapping up his eight year FFA career by traveling to Louisville as one of the four finalists in the National Star in Agribusiness category. William says he started in FFA almost by accident in 2008- noting that he had no older siblings that had already been in FFA- and his parents had not been members in the past either. But, he quickly learned that FFA and Ag Education had a lot to offer as he began to build a simple lawn mowing business- starting with a push mower. He fell in love with his first riding lawn mower because it reminded him of a mini tractor. Soon he added the hedge trimmer, weed eater and blower to his landscaping repertoire. From there- he graduated into a residential quality zero turn mower and now operates a couple of commercial quality zero turn units.

Maltbie says of his business today- that he continues to operate in the summer and on weekends in and around classes in Stillwater- "I have the best that John Deere makes now" and adds "it's a lot of fun when you have big equipment to mow a lot of lawns with." While he started his business working with homeowners- he has added several commercial clients in recent years- saying that having those commercial accounts helps with cash flow that has really allowed his business to grow and prosper.

William Maltbie says the FFA and Ag Education has helped him succeed by developing him in three areas: helping him to become accomplished in handling the mechanical tasks to keep his equipment in top condition- and secondly teaching him to learn how to document his business and do the financials- tracking each dollar that comes in and goes out- and analyzing those records to help plan for the future. The third area that Maltbie points to as a key to success- the personal skills taught. That includes public speaking- which has given him skills he believes that are used almost daily in his interaction with clients and others that his business requires him to meet and greet.

The learning has also occurred during his four years in Stillwater at Oklahoma State University. He is just a semester away from graduating with a major in Ag Business and a Minor in Agronomy.

Farm Director Hays talked with William Maltbie as he practiced his final presentation this past week in Stillwater that will be given to judges this coming week at the 88th National FFA Convention in Louisville. Those judges will include business leaders from some of the biggest companies in US Agriculture- and one thing is for certain- they will be impressed with the young man from Burlington, Oklahoma. Hear Ron and William by clicking on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of this story.

Our exclusive coverage of the 2015 National FFA Convention in Louisville is a service of ITC, Your Energy Superhighway. Learn more about ITC Great Plains, LLC by clicking here. We also appreciate the support of the Oklahoma FFA Association and the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Association. Click here for more information about one of the top states in the US in the FFA- the Oklahoma FFA Association. Oklahoma FFA impacts the lives of 27,154 members in 359 chapters across the state.

We also will be posting pictures from the 2015 National FFA Convention- you can see all of those as we add them by going to our Flickr Album- it is available by clicking or tapping here.

You can also learn more about all sixteen of the sixteen young men and women who are competing in the National Stars cateogories-
Click here for that earlier story.


Ron Hays talks with FFA Member William Maltbie Ahead of the 2015 Convention in Louisville
right-click to download mp3


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