Cole Vculek, Crete, N.D., was recently named the 2011 American Star Farmer by the National FFA.
Vculek, 21, is the son of Brian and Julie Vculek, and represents the 5th generation of Vculeks to farm. In 2005, Vculek rented land from a neighbor and grew two acres of red onions. Since then he has expanded to 640 acres and grows onions, potatoes, corn, soybeans and navy beans.
Vculek says he hopes to farm 5,000 acres by the time he's 30.
Vculek's entrepreneurial spirit helped him earn the title of 2011 American Star Farmer from the National FFA. American Star Farmer is one of the organization's highest honors.
Vculek says the guidance his family has given him and his involvement in FFA has been very beneficial in his success.
"The experience I have gained through FFA has allowed me to be more confident, set goals and be willing to try new things," Vculek says. "I have seen the importance of being involved and giving back to my community and organizations."
Vculek was a member of Oakes/Sargent Central FFA in Oakes, N.D. and graduated from the North Dakota State College of Science with a degree in Farm Management.
The National FFA's top awards include American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience. These awards honor students who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competencies, demonstrated outstanding management skills; earned the American FFA Degree and met other agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements. Each finalist was interviewed by a panel of judges, who ultimately named the top candidate in each category. The winner receives a plaque and an award of $4,000. The runners-up also receive plaques and a $2,000 award.
Source: National FFA