Horse training comes naturally to Elizabeth Hayes.
A highly accomplished and formerly world-ranked competitor, her years of dedication led her to start her own business training clients’ horses for competition.
“When I was growing up, my mother was a barn manager for many horse trainers so I was lucky enough to be able to work with professional horse trainers every day,” Hayes said. “In 2010, I placed in the top 10 at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and qualified for the world championships for my age group. When people saw my success in the show ring, they came to me for help and guidance with their horses.
“Now I help my clients based on their need to get to know their horses and control their moves with precision and accuracy in the show ring.”
Hayes hopes to become a professional horse trainer and operate her own horse-training facility someday.
The Ohio FFA member submitted her horse-training business successes as her supervised agricultural experience in FFA and has been named a 2013 finalist for an American Star in Agribusiness 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.
Hayes, 19, is a member of the Marysville High School FFA chapter in Marysville, Ohio, led by Shari Anderson. Currently, she is enrolled at the University of Findlay majoring in western equestrian studies and animal sciences.
She is the daughter of Laura and Tim Hayes.
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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.