Davis works several jobs as part of SAE

Monday, May 16, 2011
J.W. Davis has shown hogs for several years at the Saline County fair. He recently earned his State FFA Degree.

For J.W. Davis of Miami, now a senior at Marshall High School, joining FFA as a freshman seemed like a natural choice.

"My sister was in FFA and my dad was in FFA. I was already in 4-H, so it seemed like the thing to do," said Davis, the son of Jerry and Kim Davis.

At the recent Missouri FFA Convention, Davis was one of five Marshall FFA members to earn the State FFA Degree, given to only a small percentage each year.

ForJ.W. his Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) J.W. had a multitude of jobs, including raising hogs and a few cows of his own. He also has "mowed a few yards" and worked at various jobs for local farmers.

"Pretty much every chance I get I work for my dad on our farm after school and on weekends," he said, but during the summers he normally works 8 to 9 hours a day for several other farmers, "doing pretty much everything."

The many jobs have helped him learn that working hard can pay off.

"I learned if you work hard and plan and use your money wisely you can usually come out on top and make a little money doing it," he said.

As an FFA member, J.W. has learned a lot of leadership skills, made a lot of friends and got to travel around a lot. He also "learned how to manage money and learned how to manage time." In addition, he said he has learned how to work efficiently and keep records.

That is among the reasons he would recommend a freshman to join FFA.

"I would tell them to join because it teaches you good life skills. You get to meet lots of people and make friends and like I said earlier, travel to see new places," he said.

As a freshman, J.W. participated in the local creed speaking contest, and also earned a beginning SAE award. As a sophomore he was named Star Chapter Farmer.

He has been on four CDE (Career Development Event) teams: meats, agronomy, forestry and agriculture mechanics, qualifying for state competition in each one. Last year, J.W. earned an individual Group I rating in forestry at state. He was also a member of the FFA state trap-shooting team. At the annual FFA awards banquet, Davis earned the Top Gun Award for excellence and leadership and the Claybuster Award for two perfect scores in competitions.

J.W. is a member of Smith Chapel Methodist Church and has shown hogs for many years at both the Saline County and Missouri State fairs.

His hobbies include hunting, fishing and trap-shooting.

Next fall, he is attending State Fair Community College to major in agriculture. After completing a two-year-degree, he then plans to continue his education at a four year college.

Contact Marcia Gorrell at mgorrell@marshallnews.com