The Agri-Entrepreneurship Awards honor FFA members who recognize market opportunities and develop solid business plans which capitalize on them. Awards are available at the chapter, state and national levels.
All Agri-Entrepreneurship Award applicants will receive a rating of bronze, silver, gold, or national winner. Ten National Agri-Entrepreneurship Award winners are selected annually. Each winner receives a $1,000 award and is recognized onstage during the National FFA Convention. The winners’ projects are also featured in a booth at the National FFA Agricultural Career Show. The winners’ FFA chapters also receive a $500 grant to help them promote entrepreneurship in their agriculture programs.
The Agri-Entrepreneurship Program is sponsored by USDA Rural Development as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
Here is a profile on one of this year’s 10 winners…
Name: Wesley Davis
Chapter: Mason County Vocational FFA
Parents: Sonya and Danny Davis
Advisor: Samuel Nibert
Wesley Davis of Point Pleasant, Va., has always loved animals. In fact, for a few years, he and his family showed market lambs and rabbits. But when that ended, he found he missed raising animals – until he visited his local county fair. He bought a small, black chicken to raise. That single chicken soon led to the creation of Turkey Creek Poultry Farm, a successful business venture for Davis.
Davis attained nine more chickens and found himself dealing with a surplus of eggs, which he began selling in his community. Demand for his eggs grew quickly.
“It was then that I began to view my chickens from a different perspective,” Davis said, “a perspective that allowed me to see the viability, sustainability and profitability of supplying consumers in my community with fresh, locally produced eggs.”
Davis took his business to the next level by developing and advancing in such a way that promoted larger quantities of fresh eggs. Turkey Creek Poultry Farm is primarily a supplier of fresh, local brown eggs produced in a free-range manner. In 2011, Davis plans to expand the composting section of the operation to further diversify the business and capture the opportunity to sell compost to residential complexes for gardening and landscaping.
Davis, a senior at Point Pleasant Jr.-Sr. High School, hopes to obtain a degree in animal and nutritional sciences. He would like to be employed to manage and direct poultry production operations.