Hunter Shaver of Goshen FFA is the fourth-place finalist of the 2019 Alabama FFA Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production State Proficiency Award. Shaver works on his family farm in Pike County, which includes 200 acres of peanuts and 450 acres of cotton.
Shaver, the son of Kristi and Jim Shaver, began working on his supervised agricultural experience (SAE) in 2017. Shaver was inspired by his dad to continue to working on the family farm, and join him in doing the work that they both love.
He said his greatest challenge while working on his SAE happens almost every day. “Every day at work has some form of challenge,” Shaver said. “Since I began learning how to operate equipment, I have faced several trials. Like when I broke a drive shaft to a KMC peanut picker because I got in too big of a hurry.”
Shaver’s main responsibilities on the farm involve preparing the cotton and peanut fields before planting time. “At the beginning of the planting season I focus on preparing the soil and watching for germination,” Shaver said. “Throughout the season, I implement management practices to assure crop growth through every stage of the growing season.”
One of Shaver’s greatest accomplishments in his SAE was learning how to farm and getting to work at it daily. “It teaches you things you couldn’t learn anywhere else,” he said. “Not only have I gained experience with operating farm equipment and viewing the growth of plants, but I have developed public speaking skills. I have built my communication skills through connections with local farmers in my county. This has helped me be able to speak with others about my personal experiences on the farm.”
The 2019 Alabama FFA Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production Proficiency Award was sponsored by the Alabama Peanut Producers Association.
The Alabama Peanut Producers Association has been representing the interests of peanut growers through promotions, research and education programs since 1958.
FFA is a dynamic youth organization that changes lives and prepares members for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.