On Oct. 31, three Miami Trace FFA National Proficiency Finalists, Natalie Miller, Gus Mitchem, and Evan Schaefer, awaited results at the 88th-annual National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky.
Prior to this, participants qualified to potentially be a National Finalist in their respected areas this past May at the State FFA Convention at the Ohio Expo Center. Four National Finalists are selected for each of the award areas and go on to compete. The winner of each respected area is then announced onstage during the National FFA Convention. Each national finalist receives a $500 cash award and a plaque. National winners receive an additional $500 award and a plaque.
In the area of Agricultural Education, Natalie Miller competed after serving as Miami Trace FFA Chapter President and Ohio FFA State Secretary. Natalie Miller used her FFA experiences to communicate the importance of agriculture to a wide variety of audiences. Natalie logged a total of 632 hours including: classroom visits, speaking engagements and chapter and state officer events.
In the area of swine production entrepreneurship, Gus Mitchem started his SAE project four years ago with a six-sow herd and now has 16 sows. Over the last four years, Gus has marketed 764 offspring during spring and fall farrowing. He has net earnings of $50,371. Gus sells purebred and crossbred market swine and breeding stock. Gus went on to win at the national level, earning his title as a National Proficiency Award Winner.
Evan Schaefer competed in the area of Diversified Crop Production. Through Evans five years as an FFA member, his farming operation has grown substantially. In the area of fiber/oil production, Evan has increased his production from seven acres with an average of 28 bu/acres to 252 acres with a 65 bu/acre average. In the Grain Production area, Evan again increased production from seven acres to 261 acres with a 243 bu/acre average in the 2014 production season. Evan was able to combine his operations to compete and ultimately win in the area of Diversified Crop Production, earning his title as a National Proficiency Award Winner.
The Miami Trace FFA Chapter would like to congratulate all three students on all of their accomplishments and contributions throughout their FFA careers!