FFA members to be honored
There will always be people who eat meat, trees will always be invading grasslands, and two entrepreneurial young people from Marion FFA have established award-winning, practical businesses to serve those needs.
Jeremy Hett and Cade Harms will be recognized during the state FFA convention Tuesday through June 2 in Manhattan for their school-supervised agricultural experiences. Both received chapter and district awards earlier this year.
Aidan Cairns, chapter vice president and district reporter, also will compete with 13 other candidates for state office and will compete in prepared public speaking.
Jeremy will receive the state proficiency award in ag service. He placed second in district competition, but his project was submitted for state competition after the district winner withdrew.
Jeremy has provided tree-cutting services for cattlemen for almost two years. He and his father, Donnie Hett, went together to purchase a $38,000 skid loader with a front tree-saw attachment.
Jeremy’s $19,000 investment came from an $8,500 loan plus savings accumulated through cattle income and wages from helping on the family farm and working for other farmers.
He charges by the hour and can cut trees with trunks as large as a yard in diameter. The outfit has an attachment that can be activated to spray trunks, which keeps trees from growing back.
“It’s good money,” Jeremy said.
He has paid off his loan and is rebuilding his savings.
He plans to pursue an associate’s degree in welding from North Central Kansas Technical College at Beloit and get a welding job.
Cade will compete with six other district star farmers for the Kansas Star Farmer award. The award shows that he has mastered production, finance, and management.
He was reluctant to talk about his district star farmer award because he was the only one in the south-central district to apply for it. He is looking forward to competition at the state convention.
Cade has been raising and showing cattle since age 10, when his father, Mark Harms, gave him his first heifer. Seedstock beef production has been his project for five years as an FFA member. He has acquired a 35-head herd of registered, purebred Charolais and Angus cattle.
He retained and registered the heifers and the best bulls and sold the rest as feeder calves. He sold four registered bulls this past year. The money he earned was split with his father, who provided feed and completed the sales.
Cade submitted a resume of his activities and was interviewed twice at the district level. He traveled to Manhattan two weeks ago to be interviewed at the state level.
“My records showed I must be doing something right, and the interviews revealed my knowledge of the business,” he said.
Cade plans to attend Kansas State University and major in mechanical engineering. He wants to design things such as rockets.
Aidan has held offices in the Marion chapter for three years and was district reporter this year. She plans to attend Kansas State University and pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
“I plan to join the marching band, but if I get a state FFA office, I will join a different band,” she said. “The marching band would take too much time.”
Marion’s Elizabeth Meyer will be retiring as state FFA president and will give a farewell address . She also is competing for national office.