Name: Chris Gonterman
Parents: John & Kelly Gonterman
School: Willard High School, Willard FFA
Ag Teachers:  Dana Kimmons and Charles Simpson

What has been your involvement in agriculture growing up?
“I was raised on a farm. My family moved here when I was 12 from cropland in Illinois; we moved into Missouri to get closer to family here and in Oklahoma. I grew up working on the farm—either ours or someone else’s. I was always doing something. We raise registered and commercial Brangus now, but I’ve helped haul sheep, haul hay, plow fields and anything else I was needed for."
What is your Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) Project in the FFA?
Chris replied, “My SAE is two-fold. I have a placement project where I work at Main Street Feed store. I also have a production project in raising my Brangus Cattle. At the feed store, I’ve worked there for awhile now, and I keep good records of the hours I work and money I make.” Chris’s SAE project won first place in the FFA Area 10 contest competing against similar placement projects, and will now go on to the state level to compete for the state title in his proficiency category.

What are your goals and plans for the future?
“One goal is to go to technical school. I’d really like to work in a veterinary-related career. I’m interested in ultra-sounding or running my own artificial insemination business. I definitely want to continue my Brangus herd. It’s a breed that my family has always had and I want to continue that,” Chris said, “I love the outdoors and I always want to be on the farm.”

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing the American agriculture industry?
“Feed prices are really high,” said Chris, “And it’s hard to put weight on your calves with such high feed costs. On top of that the cost of fuel is really hurting farmers too. We’re having to pay a lot more all across the board for a lot of things, fertilizer too… it’s hard to see profits and grow the operation.”

By Jordan Haymes


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