When Dylan Finken set out to start his FFA supervised agricultural experience (SAE), he started working with what he had available: haying equipment on his father’s farm. Originally purchased to help feed livestock that Dylan’s family used to own, the small tractor and mower with a rake were repurposed for harvesting hay, which kickstarted Dylan’s SAE.
Over time, Dylan—who is from the Max FFA chapter in Max, N.D.,—expanded his farming operation. Now he grows soybeans and canola, utilizing bigger farm equipment than before.
“[It’s] just something I always grew up around,” Dylan said. “Then growing up in my years through the FFA and my college education years, it’s just something that grew on me, in that I knew I wanted to have a chance doing the production of small grains and oil crops, and hay production as well.”
What makes Dylan proud of his operation, he said, is all of the effort he has put into his work, from spending time in the tractor planting and harvesting crops to making repairs on his equipment.
Dylan’s FFA advisor encouraged him to always do his best and give everything a try, and when he found something he liked, keep pursuing it.
“That’s one thing that’s always stuck with me over the years,” Dylan said. “Once I got more knowledge and that I knew that … this was the career path I wanted to go down, then, it just kind of propelled me down that way. I knew I wanted to do it, so got to work even harder.”
At the heart of his farming operation is family tradition. As a graduate of Lake Region State College, Dylan started buying into the family farm this year, intending on farming as a career.
“Eventually I will have kids one day and pass it down to that generation; right now, I’m the fourth generation,” Dylan said. “My goal is to keep on farming and just keep the generations going down.”