Zach Young completed his proficiency application in Diversified Agriculture Production Placement back in February, spending numerous hours with his FFA Advisor Katie Allen to complete the application.
National results were posted on Aug. 17 and Young, one of 32 individuals that applied in the proficiency division in the U.S., came home with a Gold rating. He was ranked in the Top 10 with his proficiency scores.
Young had to keep yearly records of hours he worked on his family farm, income, expenses, and particular skills and activities he does on a daily basis for the past five years. He managed to keep these records by taking Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) class in high school, which requires students to maintain these exact records that can be applied to the proficiency.
With those records, Young brought home first place at state level in June, receiving a banner, plaque, and monetary award.
This placing allowed him to move on to the national competition. Young and Allen reworked his application before sending it to Nationals in July. His proficiency showed over 300 percent growth in the amount of hours he worked from when he started his freshmen year to now, along with the ability to perform numerous tasks on both the livestock portion and the crop side of the farm, showing him to be a very diverse young man in the agricultural industry.
Agricultural Proficiency awards honors FFA members who, through their SAEs developed in high school, have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers. There are 47 areas of proficiencies from agricultural communications to wildlife management.