INDIANAPOLIS -- Winners of the 2019 National Agricultural Proficiency Awards were announced on Friday, Nov. 1 during the fifth general session at the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo. Awards were given in 47 categories.
Diversified Crop Production – Entrepreneurship
Ryan Muggli – North Dakota
Ryan Muggli of the Grant County FFA Chapter in North Dakota operates a farm of 790 acres, producing wheat, corn, soybeans, oil sunflowers and rye. He started in 2015 with 210 acres after years of riding along in the tractor with his father and learning what it was to be a good farmer. Every decision to be made in the operation is made by Muggli, including what to grow, purchasing inputs like seed, fertilizer and fuel, and more.
He is supported by his parents, Andrea and Tim, and his FFA advisor, Pete Hetle. Sponsored by CHS Foundation.
Equine Science – Entrepreneurship
Niamh Sexton – Wisconsin
Niamh Sexton of the Waupaca FFA Chapter in Wisconsin has a passion for horses that began at a very young age, beginning to ride horses at the age of two. She acquired her first horse when she was five years old, a Cob Pony named Moon. Today, she owns three quarter horse geldings, and she is active in many equine clubs and groups. Sexton is supported by her parents, Melissa and Gearoid, and her FFA advisors, Rene Lehman and Jenifer Erb. Sponsored by Zoetis and Red Brand.
Equine Science – Placement
Jonni Biren – Minnesota
Jonni Biren of the Russell Tyler Ruthton FFA Chapter in Minnesota works for a six-horse hitch of Shire geldings called Dakota Thunder Shires. She helps drive the horses, cleans stalls, feeds up to 12 head of horses, grooms and provides other care and support. Biren looks forward to owning her own Belgian draft horses. She is supported by her parents, Carol and John, and her FFA advisor, Jennifer Boersma.Sponsored by Tarter Farm & Ranch Equipment and Tractor Supply Company.
Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production – Entrepreneurship/Placement
Brayden Schultz – Minnesota
Brayden Schultz of the United South Central FFA Chapter in Minnesota works on his family’s cash crop farm, raising soybeans on a rotating basis on more than 1,500 acres. He is the fourth generation of his family to farm the land. Starting to help at the age of eight, he now is tasked with operating the semi to pull the grain, spraying and tilling. Schultz applies hog manure to the fields to fertilize. He is supported by his parents, Kaprice and Jeff, and his FFA advisor, Dan Dylla. Sponsored by Bunge North America.
Vegetable Production – Entrepreneurship/Placement
Levi Alsum – Wisconsin
Levi Alsum of the Randolph Cambria-Friesland FFA Chapter in Wisconsin works for his family’s operation, supplying fresh sweet corn and other fruits and vegetables to customers within a 100-mile radius. The farm covers 400 acres. He and his brother operate a roadside stand, selling tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, pumpkins, cucumbers and other vegetables. Alsum is supported by his parents, Lona and Scott, and his FFA advisor, Keith Gundlach. Sponsored by Tractor Supply Company and Wilbur-Ellis Company.
Wildlife Production and Management – Entrepreneurship/Placement
Kayla Reed – Wisconsin
Kayla Reed of the Pulaski FFA Chapter in Wisconsin started helping her dad monitoring lake water by collecting samples for the Citizens Lake Monitoring Network when she was in the seventh grade. Since then, she’s taken on more endeavors in the proficiency area, including working on a bullhead diet study and a juvenile walleye growth study. Reed has also created a small wildlife food plot in her backyard. She is supported by her parents, Kim and Grant, and her FFA advisors, Kaleb Santy, Cedric Pettis and Terry Erdmann. Sponsored by National FFA Foundation & National FFA Organization.