Age: 17

Parents: Rick and Joetta Benbolin

Hometown: Mount Vernon, Mo.

FFA Chapter: Mount Vernon FFA

Advisors: Steven Prewitt and Jay Shepherd

What is your involvement in agriculture and your family’s farming operation?

“We have cattle and my dad is retired now and we’ve just put in a rotational grazing system. We’re starting to get about 40 head now and we have registered Red Angus and Charolais. I just really like working on the farm and working with animals. It’s just something that I have always done. My dad took me with him everywhere and so I was just around them.  We also have a wood shop. Our woodshop is different because we are start to finish; we cut down the tree at our farm, saw it, dry it, then make the finished product and sell it. We mostly do fine arts projects like tables, building chess boards and so on. I really enjoy it. I just enjoy the woodworking. Working in the woodshop gives me something to do and lets me express myself.”

What are some of your achievements in FFA?

“I’m a junior now and last year I made a gavel for the Ozark Empire Fair, but didn’t win anything. When it went to the Missouri State Fair, it was the Grand Champion, so I’m pretty proud of that. I really enjoy it and I couldn’t ask for anything more. FFA is really something I enjoy and I really like being able to incorporate my wood working into it.”

What are your future plans?

“I’d like to go to college to be an agriculture engineer. I’m not sure where I want to go yet, just where I might get the best scholarship. I’m really into football and track, so I hope that will help pay for college; it’s a work in progress. I always want to be involved in agriculture and having my own farm is just a dream waiting to happen; it would be a blast. I would also want my own woodworking shop at my farm. That’s all something I dream about.”


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