INDIANAPOLIS — A FFA project that started with mowing the lawn of the Cambridge Public Library developed into a national award-winning achievement for Logan Nodine.
Nodine was named the national winner for Turf Grass Management at the recent 93rd National FFA Convention and Expo.
The Cambridge FFA member actually started his mowing business when he was in seventh grade, and after choosing turf grass management for his FFA project as a high school freshman, he started to expand his business.
“I began advertising on Facebook and in town by putting up advertisements in gas stations to build my business as much as I could,” said the son of Robert and Sarah Nodine. “I went from one lawn my freshman year to 12 lawns my senior year.”
For both his commercial and residential lawns, the FFA member said, his goal was to make the lawns look as best as possible. In addition to mowing, Nodine also spread fertilizer and grass seed for customers.
The National FFA winner purchased several pieces of equipment for his business including a Stihl string trimmer, a Stihl leaf blower, Toro riding lawn mower, Honda push mower and a broadcaster for spreading fertilizer and grass seed.
Nodine did not initially focus on developing an award-winning project.
“My freshman year I made $45, and once I realized what my classmates were doing, I knew I had to step it up,” he said. “I had a net worth of over $13,000 this year.”
Winning the national award was a surprise to the Cambridge FFA member who is advised by Trent Taber.
“I was supper shocked,” he said. “I was just happy to be in the top four.”
Since the convention was held virtually this year due to the pandemic, each of the four finalists prepared a video about their project for the judges to view.
“I did a two-minute introduction about my project and then they sent me three questions and I had one minute to answer each of those questions,” Nodine said.
While in high school, Nodine served as the chapter vice president as a senior and he was a member of the ag sales and parliamentary procedure teams.
“I went to as many events as I could to gain experience,” he said.
Nodine is currently a freshman at Iowa State University where he is studying ag business. His career goal includes working in the agricultural industry.
“I’m focusing on finance, but I’m not completely sure yet,” he said. “I might get a minor in turf grass management and maybe I’ll work at a country club.”
For the summer of 2021, Nodine is applying for internships to get a better idea about his future career.
“I’ve applied for a couple of internships that involve agronomy,” Nodine said. “Last summer I worked at Wyffels and I want to learn a lot more.
“I’m glad I was a part of FFA since I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to join until my eighth-grade year,” he said. “I’m glad I was able to be part of a great organization.”