DARKE COUNTY – Franklin Monroe junior Elisabeth Williams is doing her part to preserve the agriculture history she’s grown up with in Darke County.
Although she isn’t sure which direction she will take, she’s aware of all the new opportunities a career in agriculture will lead.
“We went to a college and learned about the new drone technology,” Williams explained. “They explained how you can use drones” to watch and record data on farm animals, for example, as well as crops.
Williams, who will turn 17 on Oct. 2, is president of the Franklin Monroe FFA, vice-president for Crowing Coops 4-H Club and is taking ag classes at Darke County’s Edison Campus with plans to earn an associate’s degree by high school graduation in 2019.
She’s also getting valuable experience as one of the co-farm news directors at WGTR 97.5 in Greenville.
“I’ve grown up around agriculture,” Williams said. “Being in FFA you meet a lot of people and there’s a lot of new opportunities” for a future career in Ohio agriculture.
“I want to major in an ag-related field and I want to go to college, just not sure where yet.”
Williams’s father John and her uncle Glenn Kreitzer farm around 300 acres, she said. “We raise corn and beans and chickens and turkeys,” said Elisabeth, who also raises poultry for both FFA and 4-H projects.
Working toward earning her FFA State Degree this coming spring, Williams is completing two FFA SAE (Supervissed Agriculture Experiences) projects – Entrepreneurship (poultry) and Job Placement.
The Job Placement project includes her work at Tiger radio, which includes recording farm news and grain market reports. She also occasionally records obituaries for the station and does some of the engineering work for her fellow broadcasters.
Williams is responsible for choosing the farm stories and topics she records for broadcast.
“I’ll go online or go to Ohio Country Journal or Ohio State University (website) to find a story. Or people sometimes send one in email,” Williams explained.
After finding an interesting and timely farm-related article, Williams will edit the copy to fit into her two-minute time slot.
“I’ll get the main point of the story and tape it,” she said.
Williams heard about the job opportunity through her ag teacher at Franklin Monroe.
“I filled out an application, went for an interview and in a couple weeks they called to say ‘you got the job.’”
In order for her job placement project to be judged, Williams documents her experiences, including hours and pay online, she said.
Williams also is active with Greenville’s EUM Church and participates in several FFA CD – Career Development – projects. Earlier this week she participated in FFA soil judging, held in Union City.
Other CD projects she’s active with include speech competition and poultry judging.
“And I’m looking forward to FFA Nationals coming up at the end of October in Indianapolis,” Williams said – which brings an opportunity to meet more young people from across the United States who are contemplating a future in agriculture.
What advice would she give a young person looking ahead to an ag career?
“Try it,” she says about FFA. “Even if you don’t have a huge interest in agriculture now, it still gives you leadership and communication skills.”
PHOTO CAPTION: FM junior Elisabeth Williams can be heard on WGTR radio giving farm and grain market reports.