By Kristen Miller
DASSEL-COKATO, MN Dassel-Cokato senior Nic Holm has become the first ever to be awarded the Minnesota Region 5 Star Farmer Award in the DC FFA Chapter, and will be competing for the state’s star award Tuesday.
With the star award, FFA recognizes students like Holm who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competency through career development programs.
Holm also received the award because he has demonstrated “outstanding” management skills, earned the State FFA Degree (the state’s highest level of accomplishment), and has met other agricultural education, scholarship, and leadership requirements.
“It’s kind of a good feeling to get an award for working so hard over the years,” Holm, the son of Randy and Peggy Holm of Dassel, said.
Through Holm’s supervised agricultural experience (a requirement for the State FFA Degree), he has been raising his own beef cows, dairy heifers, dairy steers, and 14 acres of hay, using the necessary equipment.
“He’s basically a young farmer,” said Seena Glessing, FFA advisor.
Holm also works on his dad’s crop farm in exchange for corn for his animals.
As a sideline business, Holm milks cows for four different farmers.
Through his work on dairy farms, Holm acquired a deep passion for dairy animals and decided to begin his own dairy operation.
His agricultural experience with dairy has made his labor valuable for people who may not get to step away from their farms.
“The farmer can feel comfortable leaving their dairy operation for a period of time with Nic and know that he is very skilled, knowledgeable, and competent with dairy and other livestock . . . and the cropping enterprises, too,” Glessing said.
Through his own dairy operation, Holm has also learned the importance of good record-keeping in all aspects from feeding and planting to income and expenses.
He also learned responsibility and respect for the agricultural industry, Holm said.
A valuable lesson was understanding the importance of caring for an animal and providing the proper nutrition, housing and health care in order for the cow to produce more milk, he explained.
Holm will compete through an interview process Tuesday for the State Star award, though the results won’t be announced until the MN State FFA Convention in Minneapolis Monday, April 26.
Holm has met the qualifications and will receive his State FFA Degree at the state convention, as well.
Three other DC FFA members will also receive their State FFA Degrees: Eric Wendolek, Megan Piepgras, and Patty Hemerick.