Nearly 100 participants of the 2014 FFA New Century Farmer Conference recently visited the Case IH Ag Information Center, just one stop in a week full of learning experiences designed to broaden and enhance their knowledge of production agriculture.

While at the Information Center, Ag PhD’s Brian Hefty conducted a hands-on session about the importance of plant nutrients, tissue sampling and soil testing. Participants were brought out to nearby corn and soybean fields where they could see firsthand some of the effects of nutrient deficiencies.

Later in the day, participants had the opportunity to get a close-up look at equipment, including a planting demonstration. The day ended with the highly anticipated – and competitive – pedal tractor races!

Janae Mogler, a senior majoring in animal science at South Dakota State University, was eager to attend the conference and apply the knowledge to her family’s farming operation, which consists of corn and soybeans, cattle, hogs and a grain elevator.

“I was looking for some good networking opportunities and came across this conference in the FFA New Horizons magazine,” says Mogler.

After graduation, Mogler plans to enter the swine industry, and eventually return to her family farm.

“This conference taught me a lot about the industry,” says Mogler. “I’m looking forward to challenging the older generations of my family to keep up with the industry trends.”

A New Century Farmer alumnus, Justin Vaughn, attended the alumni track of the program and was eager to further his production agriculture knowledge.

“After attending last year, I definitely wanted to come back,” says Vaughn, who is now farming and working as a crop adjuster. “The conference has given me a great network of acquaintances that I can go to for advice.”

Vaughn, who graduated from Western Kentucky University, says that he also values the information about new technologies, as well as the opportunity to improve his understanding of the markets.

Current or past FFA members are eligible to apply for the program; applications are typically due in March. Case IH is a proud sponsor of FFA and the New Century Farmer program.