Gage Slagell of the Hydro-Eakly FFA Chapter earned the title of State Star in Agricultural Placement during the fifth session of the 97th State FFA Convention and Expo May 3 at the BOK Center.
Slagell’s supervised agricultural experience is working for Triple S Farms in Hydro, Oklahoma. Triple S Farms focuses on producing watermelons, sweet potatoes, potatoes, cantaloupe, wheat, soybeans and peanuts. They produce roughly 360 acres of watermelons and 40 acres of cantaloupe.
Triple S Farms is owned by Slagell’s grandfather and his great-uncle. Slagell said he is grateful for the help he has received with his project, especially from his dad and grandpa.
“They are constantly pushing me to do better,” Slagell said.
Slagell is involved in all aspects of Triple S Farms. He assists in packaging, marketing and shipping the crops. During watermelon harvest, he oversees the whole operation to ensure everything is working smoothly and has learned the importance of leading through example, Slagell added.
Learning the importance of trying new ideas has been his biggest learning experience, Slagell said.
“Although there are somethings that don’t work the majority of the time, I learn a lot of valuable information from these new ideas,” Slagell said. “It has really pushed me to start doing the same and to try many different things for my future.”
After high school, Slagell plans to attend Connors State College to compete on the shotgun sports team. Following his time at CSC, he plans to transfer to Oklahoma State University to continue his education.
The 20 Area Stars each received a plaque and $500 cash award co-sponsored by Masonic Charity Foundation, McDonald’s, The Chickasaw Nation, Blue and Gold Sausage Co., Davis Farms, Sirloin Club of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma Farm Bureau.
As Star in Agricultural Placement, Slagell and the other State Stars over Oklahoma will each receive $31,855 in scholarships or capital grant funds through a $3.2 million gift from the Carl C. Anderson Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation. The late Carl C. Anderson, after whom the State Star awards are now named, was born in Naples, Oklahoma, in 1911. One of 10 children, he dropped out of high school to earn money and support his family. From those modest beginnings, the Anderson Corp. grew across the country as well as in Canada and South America.
FFA is an integral part of the Agricultural Education division in the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education system. With more than 29,000 members and 366 chapters, the Oklahoma FFA Association is the fifth-largest state FFA association. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. To learn more about the Oklahoma FFA, visit okffa.org.
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