Supervised Agricultural Experience:
My SAEs included Dairy Production and Swine Entrepreneurship but my favorite SAE cam from my time working on a family owned potato farm. For five summers I worked for Kakes Seed Potato Farm. I managed the cleaning and disinfecting of buildings and equipment as well as helping in the maintenance shop and occasionally in the fields. I enjoyed the chance to learn about an agricultural industry I was not familiar with as well as some important life lessons. My dairy experiences grew from the small herd of dairy cattle that my brothers and I raised for showing. We exhibit our dairy at the county and state level and even had the chance to take a few to World Dairy Expo. And my experience with swine production follows this same pattern. Raising and exhibiting hogs at the county fair was a new experience for my whole family.
What was your favorite FFA opportunity that you participated in?
My favorite FFA opportunity is hands down the Washington Leadership Conference. The people I met, the lessons I learned, and the memories I made will stick with me for a lifetime. My group facilitator was Mitch Baker, a former national officer, and he made took my experience to the next level. I left the conference inspired to help my chapter and my community anyway I could. The opportunity to work closely with FFA members from around the Nation helps foster new ideas and gives you insight on many different perspectives. Everything from the final session to the hunger dinner to the songs on the playlist have stuck with me and I would tell every FFA member to take advantage of this amazing conference.
What was your favorite holiday tradition growing up?
My late grandmother's family has a holiday tradition that I am thankful to be a part of. For years the family has gotten together for Christmas, but as my grandmothers family grew along with my great aunts' and great uncles' families they continued to meet up. The Christmas party now averages 65-70 people a year. Everyone always brings food and we always eat too much. After our meal, we always break out into groups to play card games. The popular tables are always Sheepshead and Liar's Poker. Stories from way back when are shared and A Christmas Story can always be seen on a TV. The families continue to grow and there is no sign that the parties will end so we may see groups of 100+ in the future.
Looking to the future, what is one goal you have for the rest of your year serving as a state FFA officer?
My goal as an officer continues to be to leave a lasting legacy with our outstanding members. I hope that I can help create and foster memories that our members can look back on and laugh and smile for years to come. A few students have begun to affectionately call me "Potato Guy" from the topic of my Sectional Leadership Workshop speech, which means I already have something to be remembered by. Hopefully I can also have a legacy that's inspiring as well.