Price is surprised by first place Hay & Grain Award

Among the awards received by Luke Price during the Monticello FFA Banquet in April was the Chapter Proficiency Award, in the category of Agricultural Services. (Express file photo)

MHS junior Luke Price took first place in the FFA Hay & Grain Show in November. He said it's all about bringing in your best products to show off to the judges. Price is heavily involved in his family's farm, with hopes of taking it over someday. (Photo submitted)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Luke Price, a junior at Monticello High School, pretty much has his future laid out for him.

     Price plans to graduate a semester early his senior year, in December 2020. He wants to focus on helping to run his family farm and expand his grain-hauling business.

     Price won’t be 18 until November, and he’s already purchased his first semi trailer to haul grain, not only for his family, but others as well. Once Price turns 18, he can get his CDL.

     “My dad drives the semi now because I’m not 18,” he said.

     Aside from the grain-hauling business, Price wants to raise beef cattle too.

     You can tell he enjoys working on the farm, operating a farm, knowing all there is to know about the farming business. All that helped Price when he competed against his fellow FFA members, roughly 40, for first place in the FFA Hay & Grain Show.

     The event took place in November at the FFA Fall Festival. Price took part in the show the last couple of years, placing fifth place his freshman year and second place last year. This was his year!

     With 20 categories to choose from, Price knew to enter the maximum number possible: 10.

     “Last year I only entered nine categories,” he explained. “The person who got first place entered 10.”

     Lesson learned.

     Price entered products in categories such as Corn Silage, Shelled Corn, Hay, Oats, Five Best Ears, Longest Ear, Single Best Ear, etc. You bring a sample of each category to be judged, and are awarded based on the total points accumulated.

     Price said his samples all stem from what he and his dad raise on the farm.

     This last harvest, Price said, was a rough one due to the weather.

     “We were in the fields later than usual,” he said.

     They were finally done over Thanksgiving break, and were in the fields several times before that with snow on the ground.

     Still, Price was able to bring in his best to show off at the Hay & Grain Show.

     “Over the summer, I looked over the hay and looked at the crops,” he said. “But it was tough to make hay because the summer was so wet.”

     Price said it’s all about taking pride in the crops you choose to show off, and taking the time to look over the product.

     Unfortunately, Price was sick the night of the FFA Fall Festival until later.

     “I was shocked,” he said of his initial reaction. “It was a good feeling.”

     Price’s older sister, Cortney, was also heavily involved in FFA. He said she passed on some helpful tips.

     “Be your own person, and don’t worry about what anyone says,” he shared. “Be happy with what you have.”

     Price said being involved in FFA comes with a lot of great opportunities as well. For him, it’s a way to network with others in the same field and mindset of owning a farm some day. It also allows students to travel the state and country attending FFA events.

     Price has earned his Greenhand Degree during his first year in FFA. In his second year, he received the Chapter Degree.

     He encourages underclassmen to get involved in FFA if interested because of the impact on their future.

     Compared to 4-H, of which Price was a member of the Jones County Central club, Price said FFA allows him to have more time to focus on farming, his future.

     “In FFA, I have less meetings outside of school,” he said. Price said he stays pretty busy on the farm, and uses his free time to work.

     He’s able to leave school every day at 1 p.m. for OJT (on-the-job training). Working for his dad on the farm, Price is able to get credit for the work and professional experience.

     “I hope to take the farm over for my dad one day,” he said.

     The family raises 130 head of black and red Angus beef cows.

     “I’m outside doing chores every morning and night,” Price said.

     Price is the son of Curt and Stacy Price of Monticello.



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