Wyoming teen has sights on taking over family ranch, educating youth
Age: 18 Hometown: Laramie, Wyo.
Wood is a senior at Laramie High School, who plans on attending Casper College after graduation.
Already having a number of awards and honors to his name, Wood took first place in Proficiency in Vegetable Production at the recent Wyoming FFA Convention, first in Proficiency in Ag Communication, second in Proficiency in Ag Education; third in Proficiency in Diversified Livestock Production.
He was also a member of the team that was champion in Meats Evaluation and took second place in Ag Issues.
Wood received the Wyoming FFA Foundation Scholarship.
Q: What do you love about agriculture?
A: It is a striving industry that, no matter what you do, all ties back to agriculture. I love seeing a project from the beginning to the finish (i.e. calf-to-dinner table).
Q: What is your background in ag?
A: Both of my parents grew up on farms. My pa was an FFA member and went on to become an ag educator.
My ma is the 4-H agent. I love the rural way of life, where I can trust people with a handshake.
Q: What are your future plans in ag?
A: I plan to have an ag ed major with a minor in ag business. I also want to get welding and diesel mechanics certification. I would like to take over the family farm and develop a Hereford/Angus ranch.
Q: What are you doing today to pursue those future plans?
A: I am an FFA member and have different leadership opportunities at the local, state and national levels in 4-H and FFA. I am currently a 2012-2013 State 4-H Leadership Team member and a 2013-2014 Wyoming State FFA officer.
I have been accepted to Casper College, where I will be on the livestock judging team.
A small start to a ranch would be that I purchased a bred heifer last fall and now have a cow/calf pair.
I was the Region 4 State Star Farmer.
Q: How are your current activities preparing you for that future?
A: I am working on time management; goal setting; professional networks; developing a marketing plan; utilizing social networks; developed and implemented sound management plans; developed and implemented breeding and nutrition plans and worked on public speaking and leadership skill.
Q: What leaves you optimistic about having a future career in agriculture?
A: There is always a need for agriculture. Without it, you would be naked, hungry and homeless.
Q: A: What do you think the agriculture industry will be like in 25 years?
A: I think that the small family owned farms and ranches will be fewer and corporations may own more, because today’s youth are not as willing to work as hard as our forefathers. ❖