Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Local FFA Member selected as National Finalist

by Andy Schwab

Kyelynn Coombe of the Joliet FFA Chapter has been selected as one of four national finalists in the Beef Production Proficiency Award area through the National FFA. Coombe, who has been a member of the Joliet FFA since 8th grade is currently a Sophomore at Northwest Community College in Powell WY majoring in Ag Business.

The process for this recognition began when she began her Supervised Agricultural Experience through her Agricultural Education class in Joliet as a freshman.

A Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) is an extension of the agricultural classroom experience that allows students an opportunity to explore career areas within agriculture and to begin to develop skills utilized in the workforce. SAE opportunities fall into three main types; Entrepreneurship, Placement, and Research. Students maintain their SAE’s throughout their high school years and potentially into college, such as the case with Kyelynn. The ultimate goal of an SAE is to prepare students for careers in agriculture. Some students turn their SAE into their lifetime career while others take the skills and values they have learned and apply them to a career area not related to their SAE.

Agricultural Education students who are FFA members are able to compete with their SAE’s through Proficiency Awards at the State and National FFA levels. Coombe was declared the state winner at the Montana FFA State Convention in March. Her application then was sent to the national level where the top 4 were selected. She will now be interviewed by a panel of industry representatives about her project. From that, the top individual will be named during the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis this November.

Kyelynn’s SAE started with a few cows she had acquired at a young age and then through selection and purchasing of new breeding stock built a small but genetically proven registered herd by the end of her senior year in high school. Since that time, an opportunity to dramatically increase her herd arose, and she took it.

A production loan helped her purchase over 100 head of cows and replacement heifers. She has learned quite a lot about marketing of her offspring utilizing local auction and private treaty as well as selling through production sales locally and nationally. Her cattle are quality. One year, her market steer, from her own herd, was Reserve Champion at the Carbon County Fair and Grand Champion Carcass steer.

When asked about how it feels to be selected as a National Finalist, Coombe responded; “It feels like such an honor. I am very excited to get to compete at this level and meet the members from other states who share the same passion that I do.”

Kyelynn is no stranger to success in the FFA. As a freshman she was part of the Conduct of Chapter Meetings team that represented Montana at the national level and represented the Southern FFA District in the Montana FFA Star Greenhand event. This past year, she served as a Montana FFA State Officer as the Sentinel.

What are Coombe’s future plans? “I am very excited for the future with my project. I plan to maintain my herd numbers and improve my marketing skills to get my name and brand known. In a few years, I hope to purchase land of my own to run my cattle and live my dream!” Coombe stated.


Joliet FFA – 2023

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