FFA Member Profile

Wyatt Glessing, Vice president

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Tell us about your farm and family. I am the fifth generation on my family’s dairy farm in south central Minnesota where we milk 70 cows and farm 850 acres of cropland. My parents are Dan and Seena Glessing, and I am the oldest of four children.

Why did you join FFA? I was encouraged to join FFA through my family and friends, especially my mother since she is one of the FFA advisers. It has also become sort of a family tradition to be an active member of FFA as my dad and my grandpa were both a part of it when they were younger. They have remained active in the FFA alumni chapter throughout recent years.

What is your role in the chapter? My role as the chapter president last year and the vice president this year includes organizing and planning the chapter program of activities as well as helping carrying out chapter activities and events. I also helped recruit members and answer any questions they may have had throughout the year. The program of activities consists of three committees: Growing Leaders, Building Communities and Strengthening Agriculture. I was a committee chair of the Growing Leaders committee last year and am the chair of the Building Communities committee this year. Growing Leaders is involved with leadership development, personal growth, healthy lifestyles and career success while Building Communities is involved with human resources, stakeholder engagement, citizenship and economic development. Some events and activities associated with Building Communities include our annual fruit sales, Adopt A Highway and our blood drive.

What FFA contests do you compete in? I have competed in agricultural communications, dairy cattle evaluation, conduct of chapter meetings, nursery/landscape and veterinary science. Most recently, I have competed in the Farm Bureau discussion meet at the regional level. I am competing in parliamentary procedure and floriculture. My team placed first at regions in January for parliamentary procedure. My regional contest for floriculture is in March. I have competed in contests at the national convention three times. In 2019, I competed in agricultural communications and earned a gold ranking as an individual. In 2021, I competed in nursery/landscape where my team placed 11th, and I also received a gold ranking individually. In 2022, I competed in veterinary science and received a silver ranking for my efforts.

What do you look forward to most in the upcoming FFA year? In the upcoming FFA year, I look forward to competing in various FFA contests, planning and conducting my FFA chapter’s activities and continuing to build relationships with fellow members from across the state and nation. I believe in the statement, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I strive to build relations with many people from all aspects of agriculture.

How has FFA shaped you as a person? FFA has been beneficial in shaping me into the person I am today. By participating in contests, I have gained confidence in public speaking and my overall abilities to be a leader. The connections you make through FFA are astronomical as well. By attending conferences and state-level competitions and events, I have been able to expand my horizons and reach beyond just my community in building relationships that will last a lifetime.

What are your duties on the farm? My dad has made a major contribution to my knowledge of what and how to perform tasks on and off the farm. My skills have increased as I have become older and more responsible and expanded into learning new skills. Due to the pandemic, I was able to work more on the farm, and with distance learning, I was working on the farm almost every day. Currently, I am working on the farm every day before and after school. I know how to run every piece of equipment on the farm. My day-to-day roles and responsibilities include mixing a total mixed ration for the dairy herd and the dry cows, milking cows, scraping and bedding the cows’ pens, and hauling manure. My seasonal roles include hauling loads of haylage and silage, cutting hay, raking hay, running the grain cart, ripping fields, picking up bales, planting crops and cultivating fields.

What are your future plans? This past September, our family farm’s dynamic changed when my grandfather passed away. Up until his passing, there were three generations working on the farm together: my grandfather, my father and I. Growing up with this example of family has ignited my own spark to keep the family farm working. I want to keep my grandpa’s legacy alive by continuing to farm. I recognize that agriculture is the backbone of America and feel a pull to a greater purpose of feeding America and the world. I set high achieving goals for myself because I have something to achieve through these goals. My goals include graduating from South Dakota State University with a major in precision agriculture and a minor in agronomy. I set a goal to be a member of the dairy club and a member of the dairy judging team. Upon graduation from college, I will be joining my father on the farm. I am looking forward to forming a partnership with my father and my brother. There are a number of areas I would like to improve on the farm. Implementation of a GPS technology to maximize efficiency in the field would be a first improvement. Another area I want to improve is the dairy side of the farming operation. I hope to change the facilities so we can optimize the latest innovations in technology. These improvements would be installing robotic milking units in a retrofitted freestall barn and investing in a herd monitoring system that will detect heats, stress levels and nutritional status. With these advancements, animal comfort, overall production levels, reproductive health and recordkeeping will improve. In addition to operating the dairy farm, we also sell Gold Country Seed. I plan to expand this business to serve a larger area of farmers which will enable Glessing Seeds to have an increased inventory of seed selection to better serve customers. Many innovations have been made in recent years regarding yield potential and drought resistant traits in seed which I will utilize. With these improvements and changes, we can advance our farm forward while maintaining the tradition of the family farm. Farming has taught me the value of hard work and dedication. Farming is not just a job; it’s a lifestyle. I feel pride knowing I am a part in the life cycle of the animals that feed America. For me, farming is family. Farming is generational. Farming is collaboration. Farming means everything to me.

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