Here are some of Ohio's 2016 Proficiency finalists: Goat Production – Olivia Congrove, Zane Trace; Wildlife Production and Management – Tyler Stewart, East Clinton; Diversified Crop Production-Entrepreneurship – Brice Walker, East Clinton; Swine Production-Placement – Mitchell Kramer, New Bremen; and Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance-Entrepreneurship – Reed Aller, St. Marys.

Ohio well represented among National FFA Proficiency Finalists

Ohio was represented at the 89th National FFA Convention and Expo by 16 finalists in the National FFA Proficiency competition. The contest revolves around the work done through a Supervised Agricultural Experience, otherwise known as an SAE.

We came across several of these finalists in Indianapolis. Watch the video below as several of them recap each of their projects and the work that’s gone into it so far.

Proficiency winners from Ohio were:

Agriscience Research—Plant Systems
Mariah Joy Cox

Mariah Joy Cox of the Zane Trace FFA Chapter in Chillicothe, Ohio, has participated in science fairs since the fourth grade and found that she enjoyed the scientific research process and sharing her results with the judges.  Her SAE research has focused on three projects, all related to plant science.  She first identified properties of potato starch and their applications to plant-based packaging.  Secondly, she compared two varieties of raspberries in terms of phenolics and anthocyanins.  And finally, she worked in a lab in Hyberabad, India, testing plots of vegetable soybeans.  Cox is supported by her parents, Rachel and Paul, and her FFA advisors, Jennifer Johnston and Aaron Miller. This award is sponsored by FMC Corporation, Agricultural Solutions.


Beef Production—Entrepreneurship
 Curtis Mathew Harsh

Curtis Mathew Harsh of the Buckeye Valley FFA Chapter in Delaware, Ohio, was mentored at a young age by his father and grandfather, learning how to feed, breed, show, and manage beef cattle.  Today, he has an SAE that is divided into three entities: cows and calves, embryos and show heifers and replacements.  With his cattle, he became the youngest exhibitor at the Ohio State Fair Market Beef Show to win the Showman of Showman Contest.  Harsh is supported by his parents, Michele and David, and his FFA advisor, Alex Zimmer. This award is sponsored by Bayer and Rabo AgriFinance.


Swine Production—Entrepreneurship
Nole Gerfen

Nole Gerfen of the Ridgemont FFA Chapter in Mt. Victory, Ohio, purchased his first gilt at the age of 9 and today owns 25 sows that farrow two and a half times each year, producing 11 pigs per litter. On his farm, he is charged with synchronizing sows, ultrasounding, the administration and recording of medication and more. In addition to his own sows, he manages his parents’ 2,480 sows. Gerfen is supported by his parents, Kim and Steve, and his FFA advisor, Stephanie Jolliff. This award is sponsored by LA-CO Markal.


Wildlife Production and Management—Entrepreneurship/Placement
 Tyler Stewart

Tyler Stewart of the East Clinton FFA Chapter in Lees Creek, Ohio, owns and operates his own quail hunting facility. He is involved in every aspect of the operation – from hatching chicks to releasing the adult quail into a rehabilitated habitat. Starting his business with 300 quail eggs, he currently has more than 2,000 quail that produce an excess of 30,000 eggs. Stewart is supported by his parents, Tracy and Rich, and his FFA advisor, Matt Griffith. This award is sponsored by Yamaha Motor Corporation USA.



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