Hendry FFA’s ‘State Star Farmer’
Cheyenne – Shoshoni FFA’s Jarrod Hendry was named the 2008 State Star Farmer at the Wyoming FFA Convention in Cheyenne on April 11. It’s one of the top four awards an FFA member in Wyoming can receive. State Stars are presented in four areas – State Star Farmer, State Star in Agriscience, State Star in Agribusiness and State Star in Placement.
Hendry is part of his family’s Lost Cabin ranching operation completing proficiencies, specific areas of competition for FFA members, in both beef production and wildlife. A senior at Shoshoni High School, Jarrod is the son of Rob and Leslie Hendry.
Hendry’s involvement in the family’s ranching operation dates back to when he was just old enough to put in a good day’s work on the ranch. He began building his cowherd and acquiring stock in the ranch he hopes to someday return to full time. According to Rob, Jarrod works afternoons and evenings after school, weekends and over his summer break. “I’ll start fixing fence soon,” comments Jarrod, noting that with this winter’s more plentiful snowfall there’s a lot of fence in need of repair. “I like night calving,” he comments like a true teenager. “I don’t mind staying up all night.”
When the family branded their first bunch of calves for the year on April 5, Jarrod was there to help. All cowboy, his horse bogs around the calving pen as he rides it back after the calves are sorted off the cows. “He does that all the time,” says Leslie of the horse she doesn’t appear to be overly fond of. Jarrod doesn’t seem to think much of it, taking his head and riding him through it.
While his brother JW vaccinates and adds an electronic eartag to each calf, Jarrod applies the Crowfoot L to the left hip with an electric iron. It’s a brand with a long history in his family, earlier used by his maternal grandfather Lee Coffman. His mother Leslie records eartag and calf information while sister-in-law Hannah and a ranch employee bring calves to the chute. Rob makes sure everything runs smoothly and castrates the bull calves. It’s truly a family operation. Little conversation fills the air as everyone knows their job, when to do it and what’s going to happen next. For Jarrod it’s year 18 of “on the job training.”
Away from the ranch, it’s Jarrod’s volunteer time with the Lysite Fire Department that he’s most excited about. He hopes to have the opportunity to continue spending some time in that area when he heads off to study agribusiness at Casper College in the fall.
Four years of involvement in the Shoshoni FFA Chapter under the direction of Advisor Crystal Woehlecke has provided a strong foundation in volunteer service. “We clean up our section of the highway every year,” says Jarrod of the Chapter’s involvement in the state’s adopt-a-highway program. They also run a horticulture program as a fundraiser and will soon be hosting a donkey basketball game. As a freshman Jarrod competed in the Creed Contest, memorizing the FFA Creed, and for two years was a participant in the prepared public speaking competition.
“Jarrod has been a great asset to our chapter,” says Woehlecke. “He works really hard in FFA and he will be missed next year. He has served in several different chapter officer positions over the last couple years. I wish Jarrod luck in the future.”
Following a short break for lunch, Jarrod’s out the door to get the Skid Steer so he can work on the springtime job of cleaning corrals. He also needs to check in on his market steers in the pen in preparation for this year’s Fremont County Fair. “We’re limited to one in the market sale,” he notes.
Jarrod also helps with the family’s pheasant hunting business. Birds are ordered in lots of 500 from a Wisconsin farm that’s home to over two million of the colorful creatures. With most of the clients stemming from Casper, hunters schedule in advance. It’s Jarrod’s job to take the birds from their pens on the ranch and place them along the drainages prior to the hunters’ arrival. He also helps care for the birds. Not only an extra business for the ranch, Jarrod says it’s an opportunity for people to visit and learn about ranching. “It’s steadily growing,” he says of the number of hunters. It’s also helped grow the ranch’s resident pheasant population.
“I like it,” says Jarrod of ranching and FFA. “Next year I’ll put in for my American FFA Degree.”
Watch next week’s issue of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup for more news and results from the 2008 Wyoming FFA Convention. Jennifer Womack is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.