Ahlvers named National Champion
Tate Ahlvers was named this years 2019 FFA National Champion in the Forage Production Proficiency category on Friday in Indianapolis.
After earning the District title during his senior year at Beloit High School, Ahlvers advanced to win State in Manhattan this past May. He was later selected as one of the four national finalists in the country. All four interviewed for the National title on Thursday and were then recognized on the National convention stage were Ahlvers was announced as the champion.
"I could not be more proud of Tate. We already knew that he had an impressive SAE program, but we also knew that it would take a lot of preparation and practice to bring home the national award," said Beloit High School FFA Advisor Jacob Rutledge. "Tate did what it takes to win. He got out of his comfort zone, took feedback from several different people, and used that feedback to prepare himself for national interviews.Throughout this experience, Tate has set a perfect example for other FFA members in our chapter. He showed them that if you have drive, set goals, and work to achieve them, you can accomplish the impossible. Tate will be able to hang his hat on this accomplishment for the rest of his life."
Ahlvers knew he would have to present an opening two minute speech on what his operation was like. He was then individually asked questions that came from his application.
"I had no idea what they would be asking me," said Ahlvers. "I feel so honored to get the state winnings and didn't really think I would get this far. My cousin, Jace Adams was my mentor throughout the process as he also won state and I knew this was something I wanted to do as well."
Ahlvers is involved in agriculture and in FFA, and is now a student at Cloud County Community College in Concordia.
"I have an interest in agriculture and also a passion about it," Ahlvers said.
As a freshman in college, Ahlvers says he plans on going into the workforce and to get away from the family farm for awhile with the hopes of returning to work in the family operation again. Through his Precision Ag studies, he learns about GPS, drones, about fields and how they are different and widespread. He is learning to make the fields equal all around and efficient financially.
This year, Ahlvers can also continue on with education through a first year internship offered through Central Valley Ag over the summer months.
"I am the first student to go through this CCCC program in Precision Ag as it was offered as a major three years ago at the college," said Ahlvers.
Ahlvers has been able to set his sites more on his future in agriculture after graduating high school since he is now not involved with sports and other activities.
During his process of preparing for the national event, Ahlvers practiced interviewing with Kansas State future education students, and with the Clay Center high school advisor. He video taped his practice interviews to the head Kansas FFA personnel and to his former Beloit High School FFA Advisor Brandon Callaway and then received feed back from all of them.
His concentration on his interviews and in his future in Forage Production Proficiency has now paid off through winning the National Championship and representing the State of Kansas and Beloit.
When asked about how he felt to win such a huge prestige honor in front of 68,000 people at Lucas Oil Stadium Ahlvers replied, "I feel blessed and it still hasn't really hit me yet that I have won. I was relieved after putting in all of the hard work and then hearing it had paid off with winning the Nationals. A huge weight had been lifted off of my back. I was in shock and it was a good feeling."
Ahlvers said he would do it again in a heartbeat. He also received a $1,000 scholarship as being named the National Champion and has since completed more interviews through the media with FFA Today and WIBW out of Topeka.
" I learned a lot and it got me out of my comfort zone," said Ahlvers. "I'm not a big social person and all of this really helped me in that way. I had buddies there that helped me through the Nationals to take my mind off of things. My whole family came to support me as well. I would like to thank my family, the Beloit High school and specifically Jacob Rutledge for all of their support."
Ahlvers says he will now continue his education at Cloud County Community College, continue working, and then move on with plans to later return to the family farm.
Tate is the son of Scott and Angie Ahlvers, Beloit. He also has one sister, Allie.