2010 Agri-Entrepreneurship Award Winner - Dustin Stanton

Centralia FFA member named national FFA agri-entrepreneur

INDIANAPOLIS (October 22, 2010)--Dustin Stanton of Centralia, Mo., is one of 10 students from across the country who will receive a National Agri-Entrepreneurship Award and $1,000 during a ceremony at the 83rd National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 23. The award program recognizes young people who start or are planning to start their own businesses.

Dustin Stanton didn’t know it at the time, but he began preparing for his FFA career eleven years ago. His business, Stanton Brothers, was hatched out of a first grade incubation project in the spring of 1999.

“The class incubated twelve baby chickens and as a reward one of the students had the opportunity to take these chicks home,” Stanton said. After getting permission from his parents, he put his name in the hat.

As luck would have it, his name was not drawn. Heartbroken, Stanton explained his situation to his uncle. The next day, Stanton came home to a surprise. His uncle bought him his first six baby chicks. Stanton Brothers now has more than 4,000 chickens and growing.

“My major objective right now with Stanton Brothers is to provide a safe, reliable and nutritious source of eggs to local people who enjoy eating food that they know where it comes from,” Stanton said.

Based on his wide egg distribution throughout the Missouri area and his reputation, he is on the right track. Stanton Brothers now sells weekly to the Columbia Farmers Market, three nursing homes, two restaurants, three bakers, numerous neighbors, two health food stores and seven grocery stores, five of them being the national chain store Hy-Vee.

Stanton is selling approximately 450 dozen eggs per week, but doesn’t want to limit his business to just eggs. He already sells radishes and tomatoes, but after receiving a state grant his plans for expanding to other vegetables are moving forward.

“I have come to find that the secret to owning a business is being able to prioritize and manage your time effectively and efficiently,” Stanton said.

With a long list of high school extracurricular activities in FFA and beyond, he proves that it’s not only the secret to a good business, but also to being a well-rounded student.

A senior at Centralia High School, Stanton is involved in several areas of FFA, having held multiple chapter and area offices and excelling in CDE and speaking competitions on all levels. He was also a member of the National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America and many others.

USDA Rural Development sponsors the National Agri-Entrepreneurship Award Program as a special project of the National FFA Foundation, Inc.