Tri-Point FFA'ers Excel in National Proficiency Awards
Tyler Loschen of the Tri-Point FFA Chapter in Illinois was named the national winner of the Diversified Agricultural Production Proficiency award during the 83rd National FFA Convention, October 20-23, in Indianapolis, IN.
Proficiency awards recognize FFA members who excel in gaining hands-on experience in their Supervised Agricultural Experience program. Loschen’s projects include corn, soybeans, alfalfa, swine and beef. Proficiency awards are offered at the local, state and national levels. The Diversified Agricultural Production award program is sponsored by J.R. Simplot Company and the National FFA Foundation. In recognition of being a national finalist, each of the four finalists received a plaque and $500. The national winner received an additional $500 during a special ceremony at the national FFA Convention. Additionally, Loschen was chosen as the winner of a special travel seminar to Costa Rica. He will travel with the National FFA Organization to Costa Rica in June, 2011.
Every Christmas, Loschen anticipated receiving more components to his farm play set. His passion for agriculture continued to grow, so much that his neighbors offered to rent 160 acres of crop land to him. Because his parents do not farm, Loschen is very independent in managing his operation, which required him to obtain a $100,000 line of credit. He intends to increase his acreage while maintaining environmentally friendly and technology-advanced practices. Loschen is the son of Gary and Diana Loschen of rural Kempton. He is currently a freshman at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield.
Tri-Point FFA had two additional national proficiency finalists. Jeff Meister was a finalist in Wildlife Production and Management. He is the son of Duane and Karen Meister of rural Ashkum and his sponsors were Land O’Lakes Purina Feed and Yamaha Motor Corporation USA. Meister’s interest in pheasants began when he helped his brother work with his birds. Meister has enjoyed watching his pheasants grow and mature under his watchful care. Over a three year period, he raised and sold over 2,300 pheasants, each above the break-even value due to good marketing practices. Meister is employed by Meister Wood and Finish. Kaleb Nelson was also a national proficiency finalist from the Tri-Point FFA Chapter. Nelson was competing in the area of Swine Production Placement which is sponsored by Sunglo Feeds;Akdy and the National FFA Foundation. Nelson, who is the son of Mike and Trisha Haag, got his start with Haag Farms, Incorporated. He set his goal of learning how to run the farm on his own. On the 1,200 sow farrow-to-finish hog operation, he is charged with feeding and wellness checks, performing artificial insemination, waste management and vaccinations. Nelson is a freshman at Illinois Central College.
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is an national youth organization of 523,309 student members as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a Federal Charter granted by the 81st United States Congress, and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The US Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more information, visit www.ffa.org.