A young, Minnesota soybean farmer was recently recognized at the 89th National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Ind. Elizabeth Wilts of the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunberg FFA Chapter was the national proficiency winner in Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production – Entrepreneurship/Placement Proficiency area.
Wilts began her Supervise Agricultural Experience Program (SAEP) in 2011 by renting 10 acres of land in Swift County to grow a crop of soybeans. In five years, her production has quadrupled, and she’s developed the skills to coordinate all aspects of the operation including financial planning, record keeping, machinery maintenance and more. Wilts utilizes no-till methods in her soybean production.
She is supported by her parents, Gina and Harmon, and FFA advisor, Christa Williamson.
In order to be eligible for this award, Wilts had to win the state award, complete an application and go through multiple rounds of interviews. In the Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production area, a student must own the enterprise, or work for a business that includes the best management practices available to efficiently produce and market crops for fiber and/or oil such as cotton, sisal, hemp, soybeans, sesame seed, flax, mustard, canola, castor beans, sunflower, peanuts, dill, spearmint and safflower.
The state of Minnesota had a strong showing at the National FFA Convention and Expo this year. The Minnesota state delegation had nearly 1,000 FFA members attend the convention, along with a record attendance of more than 64,000 members and guests from around the nation.