Raigan Mckee of Oologah and Luke Gallagher of Altus Take Top Honors in FFA Proficiency

Thu, 27 Oct 2022 19:06:02 CDT
Raigan Mckee of Oologah and Luke Gallagher of Altus Take Top Honors in FFA Proficiency

Raigan Mckee of Oologah and Luke Gallagher of Altus Take Top Honors in FFA Proficiency

Eight winners of the 2022 Agricultural Proficiency Awards were named during the third session of the 95th National FFA Convention & Expo on Thursday, Oct. 27, which is being held in Indianapolis

Agricultural Proficiency Awards honor FFA members who, through supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs), have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers. Students compete in areas ranging from agricultural communications to wildlife management. Proficiency awards are also recognized at local and state levels and provide recognition to members exploring and becoming established in agricultural career pathways.

Today, awards were announced for eight of the 45 categories during the second general convention session.

These recipients are:

Agriscience Research – Animal Systems

Raigan McKee

Raigan McKee of the Oologah FFA Chapter in Oklahoma has spent three years researching the use of specific treatments to improve biosecurity measures taken by livestock producers. She began her research after visiting a commercial hog operation and became interested in the measures taken to keep the facility free from infectious diseases. She compared a commercial grade disinfectant against regular soap and water to determine if there was a significant impact on the bacteria collected from samples. McKee is supported by her parents, Amy and Clint.

Agriscience Research – Integrated Systems

Garren Hamby

Garren Thomas Hamby of the Eagleville FFA Chapter in Tennessee conducts research that is tied to his other enterprises, including a livestock operation called Hoofstock Ventures and a strategy/marketing consultancy called agEXCEDE. With the former, he focused on analyzing advanced reproductive technologies. For the latter, his research involved conducting primary and secondary market analysis for resell. Hamby is supported by his parents, Patricia and Jaye.

Agriscience Research – Plant Systems

Brennan Elszy

Brennan Elszy of the Hanford FFA Chapter in California has conducted two research projects in plant and soil sciences. His first project tested the effectiveness of Chloropicrin soil fumigation on managing nematode populations in orchard soils that were previously planted with an orchard crop. His second effort focused on growth patterns in pruning species trees that were planted in fumigated soils to determine which fumigant more effectively mitigated prunes replant syndrome caused by nematode populations present in the soil. Elszy is supported by his parents, Kristi and William.

Beef Production – Entrepreneurship

Luke Gallagher

Luke Gallagher of the Altus FFA Chapter in Oklahoma began his supervised agricultural experience by purchasing 15 cows and two bulls, raising the calves and selling them. He applied to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Beginning Farmer Program in 2021, helping him purchase 320 acres and 361 backgrounded stocker-steers. Knowing that he bears for the financial responsibility for this operation has elevated his interest in market forces, costs, expenses and management practices. Gallagher is supported by his parents, Tatum and Ryan.

Beef Production – Placement

Lizzie Schafer

Lizzie Catherine Schafer of the Taylorville FFA Chapter in Illinois works for her family farm, producing 120 head of Angus cattle and focusing on performance tested bulls, breeding females, show heifers, and profitable feedlot cattle. This experience has given her the opportunity to work with other cattle producers from across the nation and gain hands-on experience with the latest technologies in bovine reproduction. Schafer is supported by her parents, Suzanne and Aaron.

Dairy Production – Entrepreneurship

Carrie Rhoades

Carrie Rhoades of the Ansonia FFA Chapter in Ohio is a seventh-generation dairy farmer, raising her own herds of dairy replacement heifers, milking cows and dairy show cattle. She has a labor exchange agreement with her father to pay for the feed, rent and other necessities for her projects. Her responsibilities include feeding the heifers, giving the calves milk, providing grain and water, bedding pens and hutches, dehorning newborn calves, and tagging and tattooing heifers. Rhoades is supported by her parents, Leslie and Douglas.

Dairy Production – Placement

Anthony Agueda

Anthony Agueda of the Hughson FFA Chapter in California grew up on a third-generation dairy farm. His involvement with the operation began the summer before his freshman year. On 600 acres and with a milking herd of 2,200 cows, his responsibilities have steadily grown over the year. Agueda works to maintain animal facilities, analyze feed rations and nutritional intake, and oversee milking. Agueda is supported by his parents, Diane and Tony.

Diversified Agricultural Production – Entrepreneurship/Placement

Justin Duenke

Justin Duenke of the Audrain County R-VI FFA Chapter in Missouri has a supervised agricultural experience in multiple areas including beef, grain, oil crops and forage production. His placement is on a third-generation family farm consisting of row crops, Haflinger draft horses, a commercial cow-calf operation, and backgrounding feeder cattle. Duenke performs various duties related to all aspects of the farm, from cattle and corn to horses and hay. Duenke is supported by his parents, Vicki and Mike.

The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 850,000 student members as part of 8,995 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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