OFI 1285: How To Pick The Talent That You Want To Follow | FFA SAE Edition | Benjamin Olander | Staples Motley High School FFA
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Benjamin Olander won a National Proficiency Award at the National FFA Convention in October of 2021, and I was lucky enough to be back stage and to interview him as what had just happened sank in for him. I knew as we conducted that interview that I'd like to have him on the show for a full interview, so we set it up and get to feature him today.
Ben has grown up around agriculture. His parents moved to their 500 acre farm in Minnesota right around the time he was born, and he has been driving tractors since he was 5 years old. Joining the FFA was a natural transition for Ben, and he started participating as soon as he was eligible. In addition to the FFA, his responsibilities on the farm had been growing over the years, and his natural talents started to emerge. For example, early on, while still in middle school, Ben developed an affinity for finance. His parents helped him pursue this by getting him started in some beef projects, and a seed of talent had been planted.
As Ben entered high school he was able to obtain a job working in a business that fabricated custom parts and equipment for agriculture. This led to Ben learning how to weld and run a CNC machine. Soon, Ben was fabricating parts all on his own and welding pieces of equipment together from those parts. He continued with this all through high school and kept documenting this as his supervised agricultural experience, leading to his national proficiency award. Ben is also an excellent communicator, and this led him to become the Minnesota State FFA President during his freshman year of college.