by Brooke Powell
Parsons, Kansas —
Oologah FFA member Reighly Blakley has used her knowledge of cattle and plant production, involvement in her community and her organizational skills to earn one of Oklahoma FFA’s highest honors: the 2014 Oklahoma FFA State Star in Agribusiness.
Blakley’s supervised agricultural experience was rated the best agribusiness project among the 726 FFA members who received the State FFA Degree during the 88th annual State FFA Convention. In addition to this honor, Blakley received the Governor’s Trophy and a $1,500 cash award sponsored by Blue and Gold Sausage Co. The national sponsor for the award is Dupont Co.
A descendant on a sixth-generation farm family, Blakley said her family’s livelihood depends on production agriculture. Using what she learned in her agricultural education classroom, Blakley keeps records of all her cattle production and sales. She said record-keeping is the key to success in any business.
Blakley operates her agribusiness in the Oologah farmers’ market on every Saturday during the spring and summer and every other Saturday during the fall and winter. She applied for and received a meat license from the Oklahoma Department of Health to sell beef and pork as well as an egg license to sell her farm fresh eggs. Her products also include various vegetables, fruits, houseplants and garden plants.
“I take a variety of plants and cactuses to market,” Blakley said. “I try to pick out new and hard-to-find varieties to keep my customers coming back.”
The 17-year-old Oologah FFA member is the daughter of Lyle and Rae Blakley. Her agricultural education instructors and FFA advisers are Josh Blair and Clay Drake.
Blakley said she plans to continue raising high-quality meat to meet the demand of her customers. She also is interested in establishing better communication with her customers.
“I would like to develop a new and better way of distributing information to my customers through a newsletter,” Blakley said.
After graduating, Blakley plans to attend Oklahoma State University and major in agricultural communications and animal science.