Lauren Homan of the New Bremen FFA Chapter won the National Proficiency Award in the area of Dairy Production – Placement.
“You have to be disciplined and work hard, want to do it, and have a passion for it because if you don’t have a passion for it, it’s not going work out the way you want it to,” Homan said. “If you have a passion and you work hard for it, you’ll achieve your dream.”
Homan is an assistant herdsman at her family’s dairy farm, an operation raising 480 Holstein cows and 400 heifers. Her work started with feeding calves and has grown to taking care of calves, heifers, and dairy cows. Homan works with the manure press system as well, cleaning, greasing and pressing at the right speed to make dry bedding for the cows.
“I had to learn about management because I was also in high school and I played sports. I had to learn how to manage high school softball as well as doing all the work on the farm,” Homan said. “That was the one of the biggest things I struggled with, but I learned to persevere through it. I learned how to overcome that struggle.”
She has been supported, and inspired, by her parents, Tanya and Gregory, and her FFA advisor, Maria Homan.
“My favorite memory would have to be spending time with my family working on the farm. I’m the gate opener and closer. Sometimes I forget to close the gate, so you know every so often the cows would get out and one time they were eating up my mom’s vegetables in the garden,” Homan said. “My blue jacket means being part of something that is advocating for agriculture and helping shine the light on agriculture to show that it’s a great thing and the amazing things that agriculture does for this world.”
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.