Meet Blake Kennedy, 2019 American Star in Agribusiness Winner

Marketing has always been an important part of any business’s success, but in the digital age, social media marketing is a must. Knowing this, Blake Kennedy, a member of the Tecumseh FFA Chapter in Oklahoma, decided to take over his family’s annual pig sale as part of his supervised agricultural experience (SAE). Kennedy said he saw untapped growth potential if he could just infuse his pig sale with some agribusiness marketing magic.

“My SAE is focused on the pig sale and running it and marketing it in different ways,” he said. “Being able to use technology and social media is a huge aspect in today’s time to help marketing better reach people, and so that’s something I wanted to do. I was very fortunate to be able to do it and have it take off and grow substantially.”

Kennedy is currently a senior in college, preparing to eventually earn a master’s degree and continue growing his pig sale and marketing ventures. He said the guidance and inspiration from his high school FFA advisors directly contributed to his current success in agribusiness marketing.

“They were very active in our chapter,” Kennedy said. “They wanted us to be more and more involved. They pushed us to do different events … and the more that I was able to get involved, I truly just enjoyed FFA.”

He added that the opportunities and support from his FFA advisors and surrounding community are the main motivations to continue his work.

“Having [advisors] come to my pig sale and be highly involved in it was something that I could tell they were very supportive in it,” Kennedy said. “And that’s something that you can’t take advantage of, having someone right there as an ag teacher that’s supporting you. Everything that I’ve been able to do, and to get to this point, has been a group effort.”

Kennedy’s main advice for FFA members who want to pursue their own SAEs is simple: be different.“

A lot of kids think they have to do it on something that everyone else is [doing], and it’s important to realize that no one’s the same,” he said. “An SAE can be over whatever you’re doing, and as crazy as it might be,… do it.110percentof it. Give it your all and seek advice.”