Trenton Bemis’ grandfather has worked at Edlen Cranberry Co. in Humbird, Wis., for more than 50 years.
His father just passed the 25-year milestone with the company.
So naturally, Bemis has been involved in the cranberry business all of his life.
“My life as a cranberry grower began and took its start from the day I was born,” he said. “Since I could walk, I’ve been involved to some extent with marsh activities. My father and grandfather helped me get involved at a young age and helped shape me into the dedicated worker and manager I am today.”
Today, the Wisconsin FFA member is in his third year of employment at the company and was recently promoted to co-manager.
His employment started with routine tasks like mowing, pulling weeds and washing trucks.
“But things are much different today,” he said. “I have a lot more responsibility on the farm. I manage our irrigation and frost protection procedures. We package fresh fruit for Ocean Spray so quality and appearance of our fruit is of the utmost concern. And we operate an on-site mechanical sorting and packaging facility that I manage with my father.”
His goal is to stay with the company his entire life and continue to advance up its employment ranks.
Bemis is a 2013 finalist for an American Star in Agricultural Placement award from the National FFA Organization.
Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, four FFA members are honored with an American Star award for outstanding accomplishments in FFA and agricultural education. The award is the most prestigious honor awarded to a student by the National FFA Organization.
The American Star awards – including the American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience – are awarded to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of a supervised agricultural experience. A required activity in FFA, a supervised agriculture experience allows students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.
Other requirements to achieve the award include demonstrating top management skills; completing key agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements; and earning an American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest level of student accomplishment.
Sixteen American Star award finalists from throughout the U.S. are nominated for a panel of judges to interview during convention. Four are named winners and receive cash awards totaling $4,000. All American Star finalists receive a $2,000 cash award. The Stars Over America are sponsored by ADM Crop Risk Services; CASE IH; DuPont Pioneer; Elanco; Farm Credit; and Syngenta as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
Bemis, 22, is a member of the Lincoln Alma Center Humbird Merillian High School FFA chapter in Alma Center, Wis., led by advisor Steve Boe.
He is the son of Deb and Mike Bemis.
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About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members as part of 7,498 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at www.FFA.org, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.