Hay and Grain winner 'stumbles across' success

Monticello High School freshman Joseph Schrader won the Monticello FFA Hay and Grain competition in November. (Photo by Pete Temple)

Posing with his certificate for winning the contest is Joseph Schrader (second from left). From left are FFA co-reporter John Welter, Schrader, Josie Brady (second place), Luke Price (third), Adele Hogan (fourth) and Gavin Cooper (fifth). (Express file photo)
Pete Temple
Express Sports/Ag Editor

     Sometimes, being in the right place at the right time is what counts.

     That was the case for Joseph Schrader, the Monticello High School freshman who won the FFA Chapter’s annual Hay and Grain contest this past fall.

     Schrader won three categories, and took second place in four others, on the way to an overall first place plaque. But he is the first to admit a little luck helped, particularly in finding the longest ear of corn, one of the categories.

     “With the longest ear, I just happened to stumble across it in the field because I was taking my trail camera down for deer season,” the 15-year-old said. “I drove past one of our fields, (near Bowens Prairie Road), and I saw these ears that were about 10 inches long on the outside, so I just decided to stop there after I set up the trail camera.”

     Schrader won two other categories, Corn Silage and Haylage. In each case, he just gathered some up and took it in for judging.

     “For Corn Silage and Haylage, I didn’t do anything special,” he said. “I just went out with a bag and scooped it all up.”

     One of his second place finishes was for Deer Shed. Again, it was a case of just coming across his entry.

     “We were out discing, and went out found it just laying in the field where we were planting,” he said.

     Schrader lives on a dairy farm just north of Monticello with his parents, Dean and Chris. The family also grows corn and soybeans. Joseph gathered the materials for the contest himself, but received advice on what to look for.

     “Dad told me what categories we could enter, and I went out and found everything,” Joseph said. “I started looking about two weeks before (judging took place).”

     Schrader received his FFA Greenhand Degree during the chapter’s Fall Fest in November. He said he has enjoyed being involved, just as his siblings – Jeremy, Jessica and Amanda Strief – had done when they were at MHS.

     “I knew I was going to do FFA, because my older siblings had done it all the way through,” Schrader said. “They participated in lot of stuff.

     “I like the ag, the learning, and participating in fun events, like Conduct of Meetings, which is coming up in February.”

     This spring, he plans to go out for the boys golf team.

     Schrader said he is planning to join the U.S. Army after graduation.

     “I would enjoy farming after all that,” he said.



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