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Blake Chance
AWARD WINNER: Blake Chance, a member of the Royal Valley FFA Chapter is this year's winner of the Agricultural Communications Proficiency Award. His SAE involved using his Instagram account to collect and post photos of International Harvester machinery.

Royal Valley FFA member wins award in ag communications

FFA Proficiency Award in Agricultural Communications goes to Blake Chance with Royal Valley FFA.

Blake Chance has a passion for Instagram. And for International Harvester farm equipment. In February of 2015, he paired those passions to create a Supervised Agricultural Experience, using his Instagram account, ih_machinery, to feature all things IH.

In May 0f 2018, he received an FFA Proficiency Award in communications for his efforts. His award is sponsored by Kansas Farmer and Osborn Barr advertising agency.

His Instagram account now has 22,000 followers, many of whom send him pictures of their equipment to post.

"My goal in starting this was to share my passion for International Harvester with other people, as well as learn from them about IH," he says. "I started with the equipment on our farm and our neighbors and it's just grown."

Chance says said he loves seeing the photos of antique equipment and hearing the stories of restoration.

"Doing a real restoration requires a lot of work," he says. "It isn't just a matter of putting on a new coat of paint and calling it good."

He gives information such as model number and year of manufacture for each picture, as well as any other useful information that people might want to know.

In 2017, he asked his followers to send in their best pictures for a chance to be featured in a calendar. He sorted through hundreds of photos to select the ones for the calendar, which he made through Vistaprint and posted for sale, where people could buy them through PayPal.

"I have now expanded by SAE," he says. "I use a drone to take aerial shots for my social media pages and I now run a Facebook and Instagram account for three businesses."

Blake is a member of the Royal Valley FFA Chapter. His adviser is Kim Clark.

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