A recent FFA-USDA ceremony honored students who operate their own, successful agribusinesses. Rod Bain reports.
One might find some of the nation’s top youth entrepreneurs in the field of agriculture. Case in point, Wesley Davis of West Virginia…”When I was going into the 8th grade, I bought a chicken at the county fair that I wasn’t supposed to purchase, for $1. And since then my operation has grown. I have 300 laying hens that produce around to 12 to 15 dozen eggs a day. So, I’ve been able to grow my business substantially. I don’t live on a farm so, I’ve had to learn a lot of these things on my own, and I’ve grown with my operation.”
And Wesley has plans to expand his operation as well, so far he has received help to grow his business through a grant from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service…”I obtained a grant to be able to construct a composting facility. So, I take my poultry litter and compost it for two months and market to local individuals and I’m able to generate revenue from that, from a product that most people just simply throw away or spread on their fields. So, I’m getting a substantially large amount of my profit from my composting operation.”
Now, did Wesley tell you he received this grant and is running his operation at the age of 17?
Now, take the operation of 16 year old Whitney Bowman of Virginia….”My family began raising Holstein bull bottle calves when I was 8 years old, I greatly enjoy it. My twin sister and I are we’ve shown 16 calves each on our farm and we’re responsible for raising them from about one-week old up to about 850 pounds. So, we manage the finances, we purchase the feeds, and we take care of them. We all work together.
We’re beginning to diversify our operation, we’ve recently purchased some fruit trees, and asparagus plants that we hope to sell locally, and get a couple of honey bee hives next spring.”
Wesley and Whitney are among 10 recent award winners in the National FFA and USDA Risk Management Agency’s Risk Management Strategies Essay Contest. A contest that details the student’s real life agricultural entrepreneurial projects with emphasis on risk management for these projects.
This is FFA Western Region Vice President, Shannon Norris…”Collectively, the national FFA organization students earn over $4 billion annually through these hands-on projects.”
Now, Wesley Davis, and Whitney Bowman and many of these young entrepreneurs wish to enter college while planning to manage and diversify their operations. Summing up best the attitude behind this entrepreneurial spirit is Wesley Davis…”I definitely want to expand my operation. In the next five years, I of course, want to go to college and obtain a degree in animal sciences and business administration so that I have the skills to be able to manage my business, and make it successful. I would love for my business to be able to into the national marketplace and distribute eggs all over the country. And I want to be able to take my business and make it my career and my life because I am so passionate about it.”
Read about the National FFA and USDA Risk Management Agency’s Risk Management Strategies Essay Contest here...