Becoming an FFA American Star Finalist is no small accomplishment. At the recent National FFA Convention Jamie Johansen spoke with three outstanding young people whose hard work and commitment have brought them this far.
Benjamin Neindick from Missouri represented Wellingtin-Napolean FFA chapter in the Ag Business category. Neindick began baling and selling straw bales the summer of his 8th grade year. He used an exchange of labor to purchase a baler and put up 1,600 bales his first year. Now a senior at the University of Missouri, Neindick averages 20,000 bales a year, owns three balers, and employes a couple of part time workers. He has grown his business through word of mouth, selling much of his product to construction companies who’ve heard of his good name.
Listen to the full interview to hear his plans for the future. Star Finalist Benjamin Neindick
Rory Tucker represents the Kline FFA Chapter in Texas as an Ag Science Finalist. She began her career as a scientist with three projects in high school. These projects let her know science was her passion and Tucker now attends Texas A&M and works on research with sorghum and pecans. Her most recent projects is an attempt to find scab resistance for pecans. On her horizon is a grad school program that would allow her to continue her research and maybe someday a job for the USDA breeding rice.
Learn more about her research projects in this interview. Star Finalist Rory Tucker
Jakob Wilson came to the conference from the FFA chapter in Fairfax Ohio as an Ag Placement finalist. He currently works on his parent’s farm– a 3,200 corn and soybean operation. Wilson’s family farm has embraced what precision technology can offer them. With everything from GPS, variable rate fertilizer, soil sampling, and yield data, Wilson is poised on the forefront of a quickly changing industry. His knowledge will serve him well with his own 1,100 acres and new position as partner in the family farm starting in January.
You can listen to his experience with their addition of John Deere’s new Machine Sync system in his interview. Star Finalist Jakob Wilson
Congratulations to these three amazing young people, as well as each of the other Star Finalists. Agriculture is grateful to have you.
Find photos from the event here: 2015 National FFA Convention Photo Album