Seventeen winners of the 2020 Agricultural Proficiency Awards were named during the 93rd National FFA Convention & Expo on Tuesday, Oct. 27, which is being held virtually this year.
Agricultural Proficiency Awards honor FFA members who, through supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs), have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers. Students compete in areas ranging from agricultural communications to wildlife management. Proficiency awards are also recognized at local and state levels and provide recognition to members exploring and becoming established in agricultural career pathways.
Awards were announced for 17 of the 45 categories during the first and second general convention sessions. The two dairy production award winners are:
Dairy Production – Entrepreneurship
Octavia Elizabeth Bushey
Octavia Elizabeth Bushey of the Gilmer County FFA Chapter in Georgia purchased her first commercial heifer calf in July 2015 and her first registered red and white Holstein in August 2016. She now has a herd of 20 dairy cattle. Through her supervised agricultural experience (SAE), she has learned how to evaluate then select appropriate sires for each of her heifers. By implementing high-quality bulls and genetic advancements, Bushey can maintain and produce a strong herd. She is supported by her parents, Terri and Michael, and her FFA advisors, David Bushey, Claire Woodard, and Mike Bushey. New Holland sponsors this proficiency.
Dairy Production – Placement
Caleb Peckham of the Killingly FFA Chapter in Connecticut is a seventh-generation dairy farmer. His family farm consists of 150 milking cows, made up of Holsteins and Jerseys. In recent years, the farm also began to bottle their milk by opening a retail farm store, causing Peckham to take on extra responsibilities. Peckham is supported by his parents, Chrissy and Matthew, and his FFA advisors, Bethany Knowlton, Bonnie Kegler, Calvin Brodersen, Rebecca Pond, and Courtney Cardinal. Kuhn North American sponsors this proficiency.