Introducing Michael St. Clair of the Bethel FFA Chapter, Your 2019 Central Area Star in AgribusinessThu, 18 Apr 2019 10:23:47 CDT
During the month of April, the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and Oklahoma Farm Report is spotlighting the twenty Area Stars of Oklahoma FFA that are among the highest achievers in the organization. The stars come from the five areas in four categories- Star in Ag Placement, Star in Agriscience, Star in Agribusiness and Star in Production Agriculture. This week, we spotlight the five area stars in Agribusiness for 2019. One Star Finalist featured in the coming days from each of the categories, will be named the State Star Award Winner during the Oklahoma State FFA Convention coming up April 30 - May 1, 2019 in Oklahoma City.
This week, our coverage of the 2019 Oklahoma FFA Star Award Finalists continues with Michael StClair of the Bethel FFA Chapter, Your 2019 Central Area Star in Agribusiness. StClair is the first one in his family to join FFA. On his first-generation farm he owns over 200 chickens used primarily for laying eggs, he’s got four cows in his cow/calf operation, tends a 1-1&1/2 acre garden, and is raising three breeding sows.
“My favorite is the chickens. People call me Chicken Mike,” said Michael with a smile. “That’s what first made me join FFA. It’s been a fun thing to be involved in.”
His diverse operation has taught him a lot about vaccinations – how, when, and what diseases to treat them for – and he says caring for each species takes a little different skill set. Learning to care for the animals is just as important as the knowledge he’s gained marketing for his business. In the fall he sells meat from the birds, his cattle go up to the Oklahoma City Stockyards, the pigs are sold as show swine, and his produce goes to a local farmer’s market.
Being one of about ten other vendors at the farmer’s market, he said he gets to talk to people who are a lot more experienced. This has trained him in some tricks of the trade.
“You definitely have to market what you sell and you also have to try different tricks to get people to buy from you. One thing I’ve learned is you’ve got to try something exotic… some kind of produce no one else has seen. They’ll come and check it out and while they’re there looking at that, they will also buy other things from you.”
After graduation Michael hopes to attend Oklahoma State University and become a veterinarian.
You can hear his entire conversation with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, by clicking or tapping on the LISTEN BAR below.
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