Peters enjoys opportunities in FFA

Thursday, June 23, 2011
Sam Peters, a 2011 Santa Fe High School graduate, wants to return to his family business, Peter's Orchard, after graduating from the University of Missouri.

For Sam Peters of Waverly, one of the "best weeks of his life" was spent on a bus with 30 other FFA members touring different ag businesses across the state.

That experience was something he wouldn't have been able to do had he not been a member of the Santa Fe High School FFA chapter.

"My advisor asked me if I wanted to try out for the Missouri Agribusiness Academy (MABA).

I did and I made it," said Sam, the son of Paul and Nancy Peters. "Everyone there was interested in ag. They were all into FFA and they were just like me. It was just a great experience."

Sam, a 2011 Santa Fe graduate and four-year FFA member, was one of the top three percent of the state's members who received the State FFA Degree in April 16 at the Missouri FFA Convention in Columbia.

For his SAE (Supervised Agriculture Experience) he worked at his family's local market and apple orchard.

"I work out in the field during the summer and move in to help with the actual retail market and then back out to help prune and get ready for the next year," he explained. He said he works about 20 to 30 hours a week during the summer and 10 to 15 hours a week during the school year.

Through his SAE, he has learned "a lot about apple trees."

"It's really helpful for me. I want to come back and keep it going with the orchard," he said. "I've learned everything from how to graft new apple trees to taking care of the ones you already have."

As an FFA member, Peters has learned a lot about leadership.

"FFA is all about leadership and how you can step up and stand out in your community and help do things to better it and yourself," he said.

While practicing as a member of CDE (Career Development Event) teams he also learned a lot of "random things."

" Last year my contest team was Agronomy. I can tell you what kind of grass is growing because of that," he said. This year as a member Farm Management team which qualified for state competition he "learned how to figure out storage costs for corn."

As a freshman, Peters was on the FFA knowledge team.

"It was all interesting and fun," he said of the contest teams.

Sam said that FFA isn't an activity where you have to be "extremely good at something."

"It's not like basketball - if you can't shoot a 3 or make a free throw, you arent' going to be able to do it," he said, explaining why he recommends incoming freshman join the organization.

"You come to FFA and you learn about ag and leadership. You don't have to live on a farm to be in FFA," he said. "The great thing about it -- it is for everybody. It teaches you so much about who you are and lets you meet new people."

Sam has been very active in his local chapter, serving as president this past year, as student advisor as a junior and sentinel as a sophomore. He also has won several proficiency awards including the chapter Emerging Technology award. This past year he won the Area 6 proficiency award in Fruit Production and advanced to state competition.

He was active in several other school activities including Future Business Leaders of America, Students Against Destructive Decisions, track and the National Honor Society. He is also a member of the Waverly United Methodist Church and youth group.

Sam's hobbies include track, hunting and swimming.

This fall he plans to attend the University of Missouri to study Ag Systems Management and possibly get a dual major in Ag Business.

"After that want to come back and help take over the family business," he said, adding that if he does, he will be fifth generation of his family to work at Peter's Orchard in Waverly.