About “Beyond the Rows”

Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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FFA: Nurturing Seeds Called Young People

My name is Greg Wildhaber, and I am the FFA Ag Sales coach from Dayton, Oregon. Four students from Dayton, a small farming town with one blinking light, are $1,000 richer because of Monsanto. And, also because of Monsanto’s continuous contribution to the FFA and Ag Sales Career Development Event, thousands of FFA students across the United States are enabled to start a career as salespeople in agriculture or many other fields.

The real life skills they learn when preparing for the Ag Sales Career Development Event, are invaluable to further themselves, as well as creating a career path for them upon graduating high school and/or college.

I have coached this event for 15 years and I can testify that dozens of students who participated in our ag sales program have full time or part time jobs in the field of selling, because of the experience they gained through the FFA Ag Sales Career Development Event.

But don’t take my word for it. Learn about some of the people your program has touched over the years.


Ashley became a state champion and along the way traded her Gothic black clothing and black eye shadow for official FFA dress.

Kara went on to sell tractors for John Deere.

Karen became an ag teacher.

Jordan patches up our wounded Marines in the hills of Afghanistan.

Jamie gained the confidence from ag sales to give the eulogy for a classmate.

Grace became an FFA State Officer and uses her selling skills to motivate others.

Joel became a leader in campus ministry.

Jennifer will use her selling skills as a nurse to motivate others to accept healthier lifestyles.

Chase became a National FFA Officer.

And Rueben, well, here’s Rueben’s story:

Rueben became the first of his family to attend college. He found summer work with a college student painting company. Not knowing Rueben’s skills, the foreman put a paintbrush in his hand. New orders were slow and they were painting their last house and then a lay off. Rueben asked the foreman if he could walk around the neighborhood and knock on some doors. Rueben came back with two orders, and worked the rest of the summer as their salesperson. Rueben later served our nation in Operation Desert Storm and returned safely.

Your support of the FFA Ag Sales CDE has not only given some students a fish (i.e. scholarships and National FFA CDE participation) but those winners, and immensely more, have been taught to fish (i.e. career prep through interpersonal relations).

Please accept my thanks on behalf of all the folks in FFA that Monsanto has sponsored.

By Greg Wildhaber
Dayton, Oregon FFA Chapter Ag Sales Coach

Photograph: The Dayton, Oregon FFA Chapter placed first in the 2011 Ag Sales CDE in Indianapolis, IN during the 2011 National FFA Convention. Left to right: Greg Wildhaber (coach), Mitch Coleman (advisor), Elaine Roberts, Cody Putman, Kaitlyn Brewer, Ellie Forness, and Rodd Whitney (Monsanto rep).

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