By: Hannah Pendergrast, Contributing Writer
The CHS FFA advisors nominated Dallas Lewis, son of Tim and Lori Lewis, for the April SAE spotlight. Lewis is a CHS senior who is involved in FFA, NHS, cross country and basketball. He attends Friendship Christian Church in Centralia.
Lewis’ SAE focuses on sales and marketing. He began his project by baling straw and hay and selling it to customers. He has now expanded his project to the point of producing compost from horse manure, selling it and distributing his compost on customers’ fields with the spreader truck he purchased.
One of Lewis’ goals includes running this business throughout college and upgrading his equipment to two spreader trucks in the future. Lewis states, “I have made money to put towards my college education, allowing me to continue developing my skills for my future career.”
Through his SAE project, Lewis has had the chance to interview with a panel of judges to compete for the FFA State Star in Agribusiness award and win the State Agricultural Sales Proficiency award. He has also learned certain skills while working on his project, such as how to communicate with potential customers, operate agricultural equipment, recognize where there is a demand for a certain product and think outside the box when it comes to business. Lewis said, “My favorite thing about my SAE is the connections I get to build with my customers. I love hearing different ways they will use my product, and how I can think of different ideas to adapt my product to fit their different needs.”
The objective of a Supervised Agricultural Experience is to work with educational programs to better prepare FFA students for their future careers. The simple skills such as communication and patience will help them succeed in life. Scott Stone, FFA advisor, says he has his students do an SAE for the learning experience. He says they can explore any career interest they may have and even find a field they might not want to follow. Stone said, “I hope they all have the chance to earn a profit, but I hope they can learn what areas they are interested in as a potential career.”