INDIANAPOLIS — Plants and animals, flora and fauna, crops and livestock — whatever you call them, they’re the core of agriculture. Some farmers may choose to specialize in one or the other, but people like Jacob Wuebker manage both just fine. As a result, he was named the 2022 Star in Agricultural Placement at the National FFA Convention, held Oct. 26-29 in Indianapolis..
“My [SAE] is working on my family’s diversified grain and livestock farm,” Wuebker said. “Row crops consists of corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. We have 2,000 sows, 300 head of dairy steers, and we finish out about 3,000 head of pigs at a time.”
Wuebker, a member of Versailles FFA in Ohio, said his family farm is a “pretty decent size” in order to accommodate all the plants and animals they cultivate. Around 1,200 acres are used for the crops alone.
Jacob said he appreciates all the work his family has done to help make his supervised agricultural experience (SAE) a success, and not just because he works on the family farm.
“My mom’s actually my ag teacher,” Wuebker said, referring to chapter advisor Dena Wuebker. “Definitely a big thanks to her … whenever you live on a farm and your mom’s your ag teacher, agriculture kind of consumes your whole life.”
After he recently graduated from Wright State University — Lake Campus with a degree in agribusiness, Jacob became a full-time farmer for his family’s operation, and he said he has no plans to stop.
“I love what I do,” Wuebker said. “That’s for sure.”
Jacob added that farming gives him a sense of purpose — and that helps him through even the most grueling days of work.
“What I’m most proud of is getting to feed the world and knowing that what I do every day has a purpose,” Wuebker said.
For FFA members who want to start their own SAE, he said passion and purpose are critical to your success.
“Don’t ever let anyone discourage you from doing something you love,” Wuebker said. “Whenever you find your passion, you are able to dedicate your life to something greater than you.”
About the American Star Awards
Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, four FFA members are honored with American Star Awards for outstanding accomplishments in FFA and agricultural education.
The American Star Awards, including American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience, are presented to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of an SAE. A required activity in FFA, an SAE allows students to learn by doing, by either owning or operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business, or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.
Other requirements to achieve the award include demonstrating top management skills; completing key agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements; and earning an American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest level of student accomplishment.
Sixteen American Star Award finalists from throughout the U.S. were nominated by a panel of judges who then interviewed the finalists this fall. Four were named winners during the 95th National FFA Convention & Expo this year, which was held in Indianapolis. Winners received cash awards. Case IH, Elanco Animal Health, PepsiCo and Syngenta sponsor the awards.
General convention sessions will be aired live on RFD-TV and The Cowboy Channel. FFA members and supporters can tune in and watch gavel-to-gavel coverage of the event. To learn more, visit Convention.FFA.org.
The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 850,000 student members as part of 8,995 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
— National FFA Organization