Bringing national experience to the Indiana FFA

Coty Back started with the Indiana FFA Association just over five weeks ago.  In his new role as the assistant Executive Director of Leadership Programs for the Indiana FFA Association he hopes to provide the support to create the agriculture industry’s next great leaders.

Back says by providing support to teachers (who are what he calls the crux of all agriculture education) and providing the opportunity for Indiana FFA members to grow their leadership skills that will lead to greater professional development and career success.

Back is a past National FFA Officer.  He tells Brownfield he anticipates that experience being very beneficial.  “After traveling to various FFA Chapters around the country – we can use them as an example,” he says.  “I can bring those experiences back to Indiana and challenge the state’s members to look at different ideas.  Maybe it won’t work here in Indiana – but maybe it will, too.”

Back was the Eastern Region Vice President in 2006-2007.

Ohio FFA’s National Proficiency Finalists

Maddi Buschar

Maddi Buschar of the Versailles FFA was a National Proficiency Finalist in Agricultural Communications Placement. Maddi’s interest in ag communications began with the Prepared Public Speaking CDE. From there Maddi got a job at the local radio station as the Farm News Director. Her responsibilities included everything from reporting on local agricultural issues, to reporting grain and livestock markets. Maddi is the daughter of Vicki and Steve, her FFA advisor is Dena Wuebker.

Audio: Maddi Buschar, Versailles FFA (4:10 mp3)

Rebecca Faverty

Rebecca Faverty of the Marlington FFA in Alliance was a National Proficiency Finalist in Agricultural Processing. For Rebecca, watching her grandfather and other family members process wild game led to her SAE. She enjoys not only skinning deer, but also showing others how to do it, as well as help them identify the different cuts of meat. Rebecca is a student at OSU-ATI in Wooster and hopes to someday be an ag teacher. Rebecca is the daughter of Connie and Dwight, her FFA advisor is Jessica Halsinger.

Audio: Rebecca Faverty, Marlington FFA (4:35 mp3)

Taylor Kruse

Pettisville FFA member Taylor Kruse was a National FFA Proficiency Finalist in Agriscience Research-Plant Systems. Raising rabbits and a curiosity led Taylor to her agriscience research project. By feeding different rabbit breeds varying amounts of protein, she hoped to see what nutrients would exist in their manure. Taylor is the daughter of Peggy and Jack, her FFA advisor is John Poulson.

Audio: Taylor Kruse, Pettisville FFA (3:05 mp3)

Ashley Wilker

Ashley Wilker of the Marion Local FFA Chapter in Maria Stein was a National Proficiency Finalist in Dairy Production Placement. Growing up in a farming community, Ashley’s passion for dairy cows led to a job on a local dairy farm. Ashley’s responsibilities includes milking 350 head of Holstein cows, feeding calves and mixing and dumping feed for the milk and dry cows. Ashley is the daughter of Kelly and Ray, her FFA advisor is Lucy Bambauer.

Audio: Ashley Wilker, Marion Local FFA (2:35 mp3)

Aaron Clark of the West Holmes FFA Chapter in Millersburg was on stage at the 85th National FFA Convention as a National Proficiency finalist in Diversified Agricultural Production. Over the past few years Aaron has been involved in a 6,000 acre diversified farming operation where he has worked in both the grain and livestock sides of the farm. Aaron is attending OSU-ATI in Wooster, working on a degree in crop science. Aaron is the son of Heidi Truitt and Chris Clark, his FFA advisor is Jaime Chenevey.

Audio: Aaron Clark, West Holmes FFA (2:40 mp3)

Cody Adams

Cody Adams of the Fayetteville FFA Chapter in Brown, Ohio, was the National Proficiency finalist in Diversified Crop Production Entrepreneurship. Cody’s SAE began four years ago with 13 acres of corn and soybeans, he’s increased his acres to just over 55. Cody is the son of Kathy and Gail, his FFA advisor is Matt Winkle.

Audio: Cody Adams, Fayetteville FFA (2:15 mp3)

Justin Pursel

Ohio’s National Proficiency finalist in Environmental Science and Natural Resources is Justin Pursel of the Pettisville FFA. Justin works for his father’s excavation company installing catch basins and tile outlets to relieve water runoff from fields and open areas. In the process they use soil and stone in a leach bed system to filter water. Justin, a senior at Pettisville High School is the son of Karla and Jason, his FFA advisor is John Poulson.

Audio: Justin Pursel, Pettisville FFA (2:20 mp3)

The US Army and FFA promote similar values

Last week the US Army took part in the trade show at the 85th National FFA Convention and Expo.  As Captain Todd French talked to attendees – he says there are a lot of similarities between the National FFA Organization and the US Army.  “The FFA teaches a lot about leadership, dedication, and teamwork,” he says.  “As you can imagine that is Army all the way.”

French is a veterinarian in the Army.  He tells Brownfield his job provides opportunities to give back to communities that are in need.  “There are a lot of missions we will do – humanitarian, not just being deployed overseas, but in places like Uganda and South America,” he says.  “We’ll go there, step in to the communities, and help people who need help with infrastructure of veterinary medicine.”

According to a recent White House report – 44% of our US military comes from rural America.

AUDIO: Captain Todd French, US Army (3:35mp3)

More information can be found at

Jakob Wilson – National Proficiency Winner

Jakob Wilson of the Fairbanks FFA in Milford Center, Ohio is the 2012 National Proficiency winner for Diversified Crop Production Placement. Jakob works on his family’s 4,000 acre farm, growing corn, soybeans and a little wheat in five Central Ohio counties. Currently a student at The Ohio State University – ATI at Wooster, Jakob plans to return to the family farm. Jakob is the son of Christie and John, his FFA advisor is Rob Riddle.

Audio: Jakob Wilson, Fairbanks FFA, Ohio (3:15 mp3)

Elizabeth Hayes – National Proficiency Winner

Elizabeth Hayes of the Marysville FFA in Ohio is the 2012 National Proficiency winner for Equine Science Entrepreneurship. Elizabeth found her success in the show ring was something she could turn into a business. Currently a student at the University of Findlay, Elizabeth has her sights on becoming a professional horse trainer and hopes to own her own horse facility after college.

Audio: Elizabeth Hayes, Marysville FFA, Ohio (3:05 mp3)

Nick Rutschilling – National Proficiency Winner

The 2012 National Proficiency winner for Swine Production Placement is Nick Rutschilling of the Versailles FFA Chapter in Ohio. Nick is works for his father and uncle on their 500 sow, farrow to finish operation. Nick’s responsibilities include everything from hauling manure, to giving shots. Nick is the son of Linda and Mark, his FFA advisor is Dena Wuebker.

Audio: Nick Rutschilling, Versailles FFA, Ohio (2:40 mp3)


Garrit Sproull – National Proficiency Winner

The 2012 National Proficiency winner for Swine Production Entrepreneurship is Garrit Sproull of the Harrison Central FFA Chapter in Cadiz, Ohio. Sproull says his proficiency began when he was nine years old, when he showed his first market hog at the county fair. Since then, Garrit has continued to pay more attention to genetics and management practices. The National Proficiency winner has also continued to invest in the operation, with plans to expand the sow herd next spring. Sproull is the son of Carolyn and Greggory, his FFA advisor is Don Jones.

Audio: Garrit Sproull, Ohio, Nat’l Proficiency Winner (3:00 mp3)

Recruiting potential students

The National FFA Convention and Expo provided colleges and universities from across the country the opportunity to share with FFA members what they have to offer. Brownfield’s Dave Russell talked with Stacie Seger of Ft. Loramie, Ohio, a second year student in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University, majoring in agricultural communications about the opportunities available to students considering Ohio State University.

Audio: Stacie Seger, student, CFAES, Ohio State University (3:05 mp3)

National FFA elects 2012-2013 officer team

FFA members work for years to prepare themselves for an opportunity to run for a National FFA Office.  As the 85th National FFA Convention and Expo came to a close on Saturday – for six students from across the US that dream became a reality. 

 University of Florida student Clay Sapp was elected to serve as the 2012-2013 National FFA President.  Sapp says over the next year one of his personal goals is to facilitate leadership and growth among his team and FFA members across the nation.

AUDIO: Clay Sapp, National FFA President (6:11mp3)

Kalie Hall of Georgia will serve as the National Secretary.  Kalie is currently a junior at the University of Georgia majoring in Agriculture Education.  She tells Brownfield she hopes to one day teach middle school agriculture and also work as an advisor.

AUDIO: Kalie Hall, National FFA Secretary (3:12mp3)

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National FFA Star Farmer

For 20-year old Clayton Carley – it all started with a small sweet corn field and has now developed into what is now a few hundred acres of corn and soybeans.  He started working for the same reasons many others enter the workforce at an early age – to earn money for a car and his college education.

Clayton has a love for crop science and now conducts extensive research to determine best management practices.

He says FFA played a large part in shaping his sound business practices as well as contributing his entrepreneurial spirit.

He is the son of Kenton and Lisa Carley and was a member of Cissna Park FFA in Illinois. His advisor was Jeff Clifton.

AUDIO: Clayton Carley, Star Farmer (3:28mp3)