If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Briar McLaughlin vaccinating pigs for his FFA SAE project/job at Schafer Stock Farm.
THS FFA Member
High school senior Briar McLaughlin, a member of the Taylorville FFA, will receive his State FFA Degree in June at the Illinois State Convention. McLaughlin will then move onto district to compete for Star placement, this award is given to the FFA member with the top agricultural placement [SAE] Supervised Agricultural Experience Project.
“A state degree is only given to the top two percent of all FFA members in the state of Illinois,” Sue Schafer, award-winning ag teacher, said. “In order to do this, you must have earned at least $1,500, have at least a B average in school, participated in numerous FFA events, and kept SAE records for four years.”
The senior currently has three SAE projects that he records, which helped him to earn his degree.
“I have three record books that I have worked hard on the past four years,” McLaughlin said. “I started the Home and Community development SAE my freshman year, by working for the Christian County Fair Association. I started Swine placement and Beef placement my sophomore year at Schafer Stock Farm. My ag advisor Sue Schafer encouraged me to get involved with FFA and a SAE project, and very glad she did.”
McLaughlin works on his SAEs at Schafer Stock farm, where he has been employed for the past four years. There he works with the cattle, pigs, and with the daily tasks required on a corn and soybean operation.
“For his SAE, Briar works with our show cattle and our commercial cattle herd,” Schafer said. “In the cattle Barn, he works with cattle that we’ve taken to exhibit nationally. Basically, he does anything that the cowherd needs. He also does work with our swine operation, where he helps us process pigs, work with show animals, feed Market Hogs, load manure for them, as well he has a really good working knowledge of our operation.”
Mclaughlin has worked with the Schafer’s for the past four years. Mclaughlin says working with them is the best part of doing his SAEs.
“Briar is a good student and he works really hard for everything that he gets,” Schafer said. “He deserves this honor because, in a world where unaccountability is high, Briar is super accountable and has an outstanding work ethic. He works really hard and he is a respectful and polite young man.”
Working on his SAEs, Mclaughlin has experienced learning opportunities.
“I have learned that a hard work ethic pays off and that if you do a good job people will notice,” Mclaughlin said.
Next year, McLaughlin will attend Lake Land Community College and then transfer to Southern Illinois University where he will work his way to be a fishing game officer.
“In general, Briar is exactly what we want in our FFA program,” Schafer said. “We want to take kids that are going to be accountable, work hard, set goals, and then help them achieve their goals. He has one of the highest honors offered in the FFA, as someone who came in as a shy freshman.”