The Indiana FFA officers and staff saved the announcement of the State Star Farmer for 2015 until last at the session announcing star winners at state convention recently. For decades, Indiana FFA Star Farmer has been a prestigious honor, deserving of recognition.
When the spotlight was ready, it beamed down on Ben Hay, one of four section star farmers from across the state. Hay hails from Madison FFA in Section IV, which comprises districts in far southern Indiana. His ag teacher is Amanda Briggs.
Hay is the son of Jerry and Lola Hay, active in Indiana Young Farmers Association in their younger years, and still big supporters of both IYFA and Indiana FFA. Jerry now works within the Farm Service Agency, and is the contact for the REAP grant program in southern Indiana.
Reports say Ben started small with his cattle operation. He has increased it slowly, and today has about 20 cows in his own herd. This is a separate entity from his parents herd. His responsibility is caring for the cattle directly. He cares for all the cattle on the farm, including his parents' herd.
Beef cattle are well suited to the rolling hills of Jefferson County, and Hay maintains good pasture and makes hay as a feed source for his beef cattle herd.
He is not only active on the farm, however. Hay is also involved in various FFA leadership contests through the Madison FFA chapter. Contests which he has participated in during his FFA career include parliamentary procedure, also called the chapter meeting contest. He has participated at the Section level with his chapter in this contest in previous years.
Hay has expressed an interest to maintain his beef herd while he pursues an education. Congratulations to him! His efforts so far earned him the coveted title of Indiana Star Farmer for this year.