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  HUNTER CARSON  
     
     
  Hunter Carson,
State Vice President
Hunter@supportvaffa.org

SAE Project(s)
I personally have two S.A.E. projects. My first, and longest running, in raising market hogs. Since the 7th grade, I've raised hogs for the Fauquier County Show & Sale. Raising hogs was my ticket into agriculture, having no prior experience beforehand. This project originally began in 4-H, but easily transitioned over as my first S.A.E. once I joined the FFA. Raising pigs has taught me many skills including marketing my project to potential buyers, maintaining a budget, fitting and showing, finding sponsors, among many other things. My second S.A.E. is a placement experience at a local grocery store, Wegmans. At Wegmans, I'm a member of the Knowledge Based Services team. My job is to engage customers in conversation about store products. I often have samples or am giving a demonstration; my workday is always something different. Some days include speaking on the health benefits of a cauliflower crust pizza, sharing the history of the honey crisp apple, how kombucha scoby is transformed into the bubbly drink we now enjoy, and many other fun and intriguing topics. This job has taught me many things, but most important is that I love to educate. It's helped me realize that one day I hope to become an agriculture educator.

Favorite CDE or LDE
My favorite LDE has to be Employment Skills. What can I say, I guess I love to talk about myself, but it hasn't always been that way. Through this competition members learn real life skills, pertinent to getting a job. Employment Skills includes creating a resume and cover letter, filling out a job application, real life scenarios, and one-on-interviews. Not only was this competition rewarding and important to my future, but it really helped me become comfortable talking with others.

Favorite FFA memory
My favorite FFA memory was attending the Virginia Institute on Cooperative Education (V.I.C.E.). When I found out I was accepted to attend I was very nervous, being the only Kettle Run student there. When the weekend came I was so excited, but equally nervous. Once I arrived I was quick to make new friends with a few other members there by themselves. We shared funny stories, inside jokes, and many, many laughs. Throughout the weekend we bonded, learned about the cooperative business model, and had so much fun! It was really the first opportunity I had taken advantage of to meet other FFA members. That weekend I met so many amazing folks, some that would become my teammates a year later.

Future Plans
After state office I hope to finish my associates degree at Lord Fairfax Community College. After L.F.C.C. I plan on transferring to Virginia Tech. I hope to enroll in the Agriculture Leadership program and study to become an agriculture educator. My future is still a little blurry with torn thoughts of becoming an extension agent or an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor here in Virginia. Whichever path I choose to take, I want to make a difference in the lives of youth and advocate for the future of agriculture.
     
     
 
     
     
 
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