Hello Nebraska FFA, I am Benjamin Rice. Agriculture is a passion that has existed in me since I was a small child. After birth, my parents took me home to our small dairy farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and my family moved to rural Firth, Nebraska when I was two years old. I value the experience of growing up on a livestock operation with my family. My father, Dan, is the general manager, and my mother, Brenda, is the secretary of our dairy operation, and I have three older sisters, Megan, Emily and Samantha.
Prairieland, our dairy has been a huge part of my life ever since I was little. I never really refer to my time at the dairy as work because for me, it’s a way of life. I have two SAE projects. My first is working for the dairy performing various tasks and managing the dairy herd. The second is managing Prairie Gold and producing soil amendments to sell to businesses and land owners. In the future, I hope to work for a company that designs and builds systems for livestock operations to make them more sustainable. Many things like methane digesters already exist, but many improvements must be made to make them a commonly used tool in any agricultural operation.
In junior high and high school, I enjoyed my involvement as a wrestler, baseball player, class officer, national honor society member and church youth group member.
I hope to use many of my strengths throughout this year to benefit our great organization. Some of my top strengths are being a learner, being restorative and being an achiever. I love to learn and obtain new information. Figuring out how to solve problems is something I greatly enjoy. When I am performing a task, I am focused and stay on track in order to get things done. Coming up with new ideas is a natural process to me. I believe we must work hard in order to achieve our goals; I like to stay busy and find great satisfaction when I complete a project or goal.
FFA has definitely been a main highlight of my life and one of my top priorities. I have taken various agricultural classes throughout my high school career – introduction to agriculture, natural resources, animal science and farm management were a few of my favorites. I was active in Career Development Events such as dairy evaluation, extemporaneous speaking, farm management and proficiency awards. I enjoy sharing my FFA experiences and the stories about how they have shaped me to be who I am today. I hope to share these stories with you and to hear your stories too!
The best thing about the agricultural industry is its future. As we all know, the world is growing substantially. Every day we have 200,000 more mouths to feed. How will we feed all these people? How will we produce products they want and need at a low cost? These two questions will create even more jobs than they already have and create many opportunities for not only my generation, but many generations to come.
As FFA members, it’s important for us to understand how we can develop our organization. We must seek guidance and resources as we explore all of the opportunities available through FFA. Let’s work together to set goals, work hard to achieve them and reach for personal and organizational success.
I look forward to meeting members throughout the great state of Nebraska this year!