Kyle Young, Oklahoma State University student and member of the Owasso FFA Chapter member was named the 2017 National FFA Extemporaneous Speaking Champion. Kyle credits public speaking for his success throughout high school and now in college. Upon graduating from OSU, Kyle plans to enter the U.S. Military.
Listen to Southern Region Vice President DeShawn Blanding share his retiring address, “The Book of Love”
Blayne Vandeveer from the Tri-County FFA Chapter in Indiana won first place in the national Creed competition.
McKenzie R. Schneider of the Platte Valley FFA Chapter in Colorado is a co-owner of the Double Rae Pheasants company. She raises common ring-necked pheasants to maturity before selling them. Her customers purchase these birds for meat, dog training, hunting, repopulating and more. McKenzie attends Colorado State University and hopes to eventually earn a PhD in animal science. She is supported by her parents, Jackie and Justin, and her FFA advisors, John Stahley, Desirae Weber, Stahley Weber and Jim Lotspeich. This award is sponsored by Yamaha Motor Corporation USA.
Katrina Siems of the Morro Bay FFA Chapter in California works for Los Osos Pet Hospital as a kennel technician. Growing up in a household with several pets, she was drawn to the veterinarian. She feeds boarding animals, walks the dogs, and cleans up after closing. She eventually took on the responsibilities of holding dogs for blood draws and giving insulin shots. Katrina plans to attend the University of California at Davis to study animal science with the goal of eventually becoming a veterinarian. She is supported by her parents, Alice and Chris, and her FFA advisor, Peggy Flynn. This award is sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Blue Buffalo and Tractor Supply Company.
Liam Ludwig of the Batesville FFA Chapter in Indiana works on his family’s 200-acre vegetable farm, growing cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, corn, peppers, eggplant, squash, pumpkins, gourds and more. The business includes a greenhouse, allowing for quicker germination rates and increased growth. Liam plans to become a co-owner or farm manager of the operation, working with his older brother. He is supported by his parents, Rita and Larry, and his FFA advisor, Cassie Wallpe. This award is sponsored by Tractor Supply Company and Wilbur-Ellis Company.
Austin D. Nordyke of the Hugoton FFA Chapter in Kansas maintains lawns for customers in his community. He started as an employee to his older sister, helping her mow lawns. Four years ago, he took over the operation and now has approximately 65 clients. He offers mowing, trimming, edging, sprinkler system maintenance, fall leaf clean up and snow removal. Austin is attending Wichita State University, pursuing a degree in engineering technology. He is supported by his parents, Shannon and Paul, and his FFA advisor, Les McNally. This award is sponsored by John Deere.
Trent C. Stevermer of the United South Central FFA Chapter in Minnesota lives and works on the family farrow to finish hog farm. With 150 sows and artificial insemination, they have room to farrow approximately 30 sows at a time. When newborn pigs arrive, Trent clips needle teeth, gives iron shots, notches ears, cuts tails and gives vaccination shots. His responsibilities have only increased with age. Once he completes college – hopefully at Iowa State University – he plans to continue the operation. He is supported by his parents, Becca and Chuck, and his FFA advisor, Dan Dylla. This award is sponsored by the National FFA Foundation and National FFA Organization.