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  ELLIE VANCE  
     
     
  Ellie Vance ,
State Treasurer
ellie@supportvaffa.org

Home Chapter: Stuarts Draft

SAE Project: My Supervised Agricultural Experience was centered around the production, marketing, and sales of a large variety of plants at Milmont Greenhouses Inc. Starting in 2019 I was hired as a Cashier, over time however, I have worked in every department within the nursery. My duties as a salesperson are primarily centered around informing customers on plant identification, plant care, and pesticide/fertilization methods. In my search to learn more about the field of horticulture, I have also done a large scale of research on the difference between organic and inorganic fertilization methods, GMO's, and sustainable agriculture. By doing so I have been able to inform a larger range of people from my community about controversial agricultural topics. Greenhouse management has become one of the fastest growing industries in the valley and has supplied me with tremendous career experience. My SAE has branched into large scale production in the potting of various annuals and seasonal plants. This experience has allowed me to obtain a broad understanding of how nurseries are operated and managed.

Favorite CDE or LDE: Starting out with a very limited background in agriculture, I benefited from the broad array of information the Quiz Bowl competition provided. Not only did I grow in my knowledge on the history of the FFA but my passion did as well. Learning more about the organization that my family had previously been involved in resonated with me and encouraged me as I continued my FFA journey. While I never won a state title in this CDE I obtained a lasting love and knowledge in the organization which I serve.

Favorite FFA Memory: As a timid sixth grader I vividly remember walking the stage at my first banquet. Worries ran through my head as I thought if all the things that could wrong as I stood in front of all the families gathered to watch their members get recognized for the previous years accomplishments. I successfully made it across the stage without stumbling but my heart still raced, until I looked up to see the current state president smile and nod as I passed. After the ceremony concluded he approached me to congratulate me on my recent accomplishments. The sense of joy that filled me to realize someone I looked up to recognized my accomplishments stuck with me. Such a small act had such a lasting impact on me. From that day on I vowed to do the same for any younger student who I encountered in hopes to encourage them.

Future Plans: After the conclusion of my year of service to the FFA I plan on attending Virginia Tech University to major in Environmental Horticulture. Post college I hope to obtain a career in Greenhouse Management.
     
     
 
     
     
 
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