Snethen is a member of the Benton Central FFA Chapter, which is advised by Amanda Mullins.

For his Supervised Agricultural Experience, Snethen spent his time as an FFA member helping raise and take care of swine at a local confinement feeding operation.

Snethen, a student at TexasTechUniversity, answered questions about winning the National FFA proficiency and what the future holds for him.

Can you tell us a little bit about your proficiency and some of the responsibilities you have had?

For the last four year, my SAE has consisted of me being the barn manager for CAVECounty Pork, a wean-to-finish swine operation that is located outside of Otterbein. During my four years, I worked with my employer to help raise over 36,000 head of swine for consumption for the international market.

I wasn’t raised in the agriculture industry, so taking on this task was extremely overwhelming, but intensely rewarding at the same time. Over the years, my responsibilities have grown to the point where I can run the barn in its entirety without the supervision of my employer.

What was going through your head, when you realized you were the 2019 National FFA Swine Production – Placement proficiency winner?

As I was walking on stage, there were a million things running through my head. My main thought as I was standing next to the rest of the finalists was who this award was really for. Whether my name was called or not, I knew that this entire journey was for the glorification of God.

Long nights and early mornings in the barn were hard on both my body and my sleep schedule but in the end, it was truly worth it. I appreciate the time I got to spend in the barn outside of Otterbein, but I’m more grateful for the lessons and the relationships I’ve gained through my experience.

How has your work experience with your proficiency, as well as your time as an FFA member prepared you for the future?

Coming into the FFA as an outsider to the industry is about as difficult as it gets, but through my adversity I found my outsider perspective to be my greatest asset. I got to go into my proficiency with no real background in agriculture, so I was able to learn how and why our industry works.

This has also transferred into my ability to advocate for the agriculture industry, because I can relate with both consumers and producers. Through my lessons in FFA, I’ve gotten the opportunity to judge at Texas Tech University.

Ashley Langreck can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 192, or alangreck@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Langreck.

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