Considered the highest recognition Ohio FFA can award an aspiring young farmer, the Future Farmers of America (FFA)’s annual star awards recognize student achievement in both career and leadership development. Students compete in four categories: Agricultural Placement, Agribusiness, Agriscience, and Farming and are evaluated based on their Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs).
AEDE sophomore Todd Peterson started his project in high school with farming 45 acres of wheat in partnership with his father and uncle. The next year he raised seven acres of soybeans by himself. He has been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to grow his farm. This season, he will plant corn and soybeans on over three hundred acres as he continues growing into his role as a successful farmer.
Todd is responsible for all management decisions and oversees his crop through all the stages of planting, growing, harvesting and selling his grain. He says that "If all goes right, and I get my grain marketing right, it will turn a profit.”
Despite growing up on a farm and his classes in applied economics and agribusiness, he has been surprised by just how complex farming can be and the myriad of decisions that go into it.
“Little decisions when combined can have big impacts,” says Peterson. “For instance, deciding which source of nitrogen fertilizer (Urea, 28%, or Anhydrous) to use can have huge effects on yield and the bottom line.”
Peterson hopes to continue growing the number of acres he farms and when he graduates in 2020, return to his family farm to work alongside his father and uncle.