Future Farmers of America (FFA) Information Page
Vanessa Soto of the Templeton FFA Chapter in California owns an operation called VW Swine. She owns four crossbreed sows, one Yorkshire boar, and one crossbred boar. Utilizing a farrowing house, holding pens, quarantine pens, and a nursery barn, her herd produces two litters annually. White Soto is in college, her sister will take over the day-to-day upkeep of the operation. She is supported by her parents, Julie and Vince Soto and FFA advisor Erin Gorter.
Haley Renee Stark of the DeLand Senior FFA Chapter in Florida has an SAE consisting of evaluating, selecting, and raising show swine as well as breeding and producing his own litters of purebred Yorkshire and crossbred hogs. During her second year, Stark began focusing on genetics, artificially inseminating her gilt for the first time. She is supported by her parents, Melissa and David Stark and FFA advisor Brad Brandner.
Travis Lee Tankersley of the Madison County FFA Chapter in Danielsville, Georgia got his first show pig when he was in the first grade. Since then, his SAE has grown to include raising, showing, breeding, farrowing, and marketing quality show pigs. Tankersley currently owns six sows, one boar, and 16 show pigs. He is supported by his parents, Teri and Russell Tankersley and FFA advisors Trisha Lastly, Josh White, Kathrine Bell and Cindy Jones.
Augustas L. Mitchem of the Miami Trace FFA Chapter in Washington C.H., Ohio has lived on a swine farm all his life. His grandfather started him out with six sows and he has since expanded to a 22 sow herd. He purchases purebred gilts and shows his own at county, state, and national shows as a marketing strategy. He is supported by his parents, Nancy and Steve Mitchem and FFA advisors Bruce Bennett and Amanda Swigert.
This award is sponsored by LA-CO MARKAL AND TYSON FOODS, INC., as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. In recognition of being the national winner of the Swine Production - Entrepreneurship Award will receive a plaque and $1,000 during a special ceremony at the national FFA convention.
# # #
About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 579,678 student members as part of 7,570 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 U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.
About National FFA Foundation
The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees comprised of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA alumni, the foundation is a separately-registered nonprofit organization out 82 percent of every dollar received by the foundation supports FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit FFA.org/Give
Vanessa Soto, Haley Renee Stark, Travis Lee Tankersley , and Augustas L. Mitchem all competed for the Swine Production - Entrepreneurship Proficiency award