Walker chosen as New Century Farmer

By Alexandra Newman - [email protected]



HOUSTON — The National FFA Organization selected 50 outstanding young people to participate in the 2015 New Century Farmer program.

One of those 50 was from right here in Shelby County. Bryan Walker, 19, of Houston, has been involved in FFA since he was a freshman at Houston High School.

This exclusive, highly competitive program develops young men and women committed to pursuing a career in production agriculture.

“The application process involved an essay and a questionnaire about our farming operation. You also had to be in or just graduated from college, had to have experience in production agriculture, have plans to return to production agriculture, and be in or a former FFA member,” he said.

Walker is currently going to Wilmington College and majoring in Agronomy. Upon graduation from college he would like to work in the seed industry as a seed salesman and also farm along with that.

“I became interested when a past state FFA officer, Thomas Shaw, told me about the conference and I thought it sounded very interesting,” Walker said.

Participants representing 50 states took part in the intensive seminar July 12 through 18 in Johnstown, Iowa. They learned from each other and industry experts during a series of workshops and sessions. Topics included the global marketplace, farm financing, demographic trends and risk management. New Century Farmers heard from motivating and informative keynote speakers who educated them on the risk and rewards involved with production agriculture. In addition to classroom learning, students got to experience the latest developments in agricultural technology.

“The conference showed different viewpoints on production agriculture as a whole. This conference also allowed me to make new connections with people from all over the United States that will last a lifetime,” Walker said.

The New Century Farmer program is sponsored by DuPont Pioneer; Case IH; CSX Corporation; and Farm Credit with media partner Successful Farming as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. The program is designed to provide participants with valuable skills and knowledge applicable to their own farming operations. In addition, they build a network of colleagues that will benefit them throughout their careers.

Other participants from Ohio included Ryan Goddard, of Urbana; Logan Russell, of Wapakoneta; Ryan Schwyn, of Marysville; D.J. Steele, of Amanda; Lee Turner, of Waynesfield; and Ashley Vogt, of Shelby.


By Alexandra Newman

[email protected]

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN