A lucky group of 52 national FFA award winners are touring agricultural sites in Ireland this summer and comparing the industries of Ireland and the United States.
Participants were selected from the 188 National FFA Agricultural Proficiency Award finalists and the 16 American Star Award national finalists named last October at the 89th National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis. The international experience, as well as cash awards and plaques, are made possible by business and industry contributions to the National FFA Foundation.
Through June 16, participants will visit dairy, sheep, mussel, and potato farms and a water buffalo dairy. In addition, they will visit a beef farm, which is one of the original members of the West Cork Beef Producers’ Group, and the Irish National Stud Thoroughbred Horse breeding facility. FFA members will also visit Blarney Castle, experience the famed Ring of Kerry, view famous mountains and lakes, and visit the dramatic 650-foot Cliffs of Moher.
During the trip, students have an opportunity to experience global agriculture and the culture of the Emerald Isle. The international travel experience is an educational study trip designed to introduce award participants to agriculture as it is practiced in other countries.
Students participating in the trip include:
• Arkansas: Marissa Davis of Springdale.
• California: Tony Lopes of Gustine.
• Connecticut: Amy Pruner of Newtown.
• Florida: Quinton Glenn of Florida City.
• Georgia: Joseph Boddiford of Brooklet.
• Iowa: Marta Grant of Preston.
• Idaho: Ross Blattner of Kuna and Devin Fisher of Wilder.
• Illinois: Kacie Haag of Emington; Braden Ifft of Piper City; Brandon Livingston of Marietta; and Travis Winans of Taylorville.
• Indiana: Kenzie Kretzmeier of Fowler; Riley Lewis of LaGrange; and John Tracey of Wolcottville.
• Kansas: Natalie Harris of Abilene and Tyler Phillips of Emporia.
• Kentucky: Turner Cottrell of Magnolia and Morgan Jones of Richmond.
• Minnesota: Derek Krieger of Kerkhoven; Brett Petersen of Murdock; and David Stenzel of Wells.
• Missouri: Zachary Ayers of Green City and Jera Pipken of Republic.
• North Carolina: Daniel Wellons of Princeton.
• Nebraska: Brent Miller of Lyons and Jordan Paine of Oxford.
• Ohio: Reed Aller of Saint Marys; Frank Becker of Smithville; Olivia Congrove of Laurelville; Luke Durbin of New Philadelphia; Riley Evans of Washington Courthouse; Brandon Palmer of Amherst; and Evan Schaefer of Bloomingburg.
• Oklahoma: Sadie Collins of Jet; Dawson Haworth of Fairview; Maggie Martens of Fairview; Jesse Rader of Claremore; and Ethan Sacket of Aline.
• South Dakota: Shane Mueller of Garretson and Liz Renner of Garretson.
• Tennessee: Grant Dorris of Lexington.
• Texas: Clay Burkham of Canyon; Taylor Price of Pilot Point; Taylor Swinson of Sulphur Springs; and Taylor Williams of Dawson.
• Utah: Kaitlin Hallam of Spanish Fork.
• Virginia: Tess Seibel of Roanoke.
• Wisconsin: Brandon Anding of Granton; Matthew Kramer of St. Cloud; Nick Leystra of Randolph; and Nate Leystra of Randolph.