By ND FFA Foundation & Mr. Tony Boehm, Richland 44 FFA Advisor
The North Dakota Grain Dealers Association sponsored the Agricultural Services Proficiency Award at the 2019 North Dakota FFA state convention. The Agricultural Services Proficiency is awarded to a student who owns enterprises or works in an agricultural business that is not covered in any of the existing award categories. Students applying for placement in agricultural services must work for a company or individual whose primary activity is to provide agricultural services. These include enterprises such as custom equipment operation and maintenance, agricultural management and financial services, animal breeding services, custom baling, crop scouting, implementing integrated pest management programs, horseshoeing, taxidermy services, auction services (working at, or owning the auction house), custom and contract feeding services or other appropriate services offered through agricultural enterprises.
The 2019 award winner, recognized at the 90th State FFA Convention in June, is Parker Crooks of the Richland 44 FFA Chapter. When his advisor, Mr. Tony Boehm, was asked about his Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), he said: “Parker’s project is possibly the most interesting program conducted at Richland.” His project: Flesh-eating beetles.
Crooks maintains the chapter’s colony of Demisted Beetles, using them to clean skulls and bones that will be used as identification aids for classroom and FFA activities. So far, he has helped prepare materials from a black bear, deer, fox squirrel, pocket gopher, shrew, pigeon and more. In addition, he has been involved in collecting, organizing and displaying insect collections. Crooks has also worked to collect and preserve fish for identification. Along with recognizing he has much more to learn, Crooks states “I have learned much about how to maintain the growing environment of the beetle colony. Through experimentation, research, and visiting with university staff, I have learned to maintain a constant temperature and humidity level.” Through all of these activities, Crooks has served his agricultural education program and will be helping teach students for many years to come.
Parker is the son of Misty Miller and his advisor is Mr. Tony Boehm. North Dakota Grain Dealers Association has sponsored a North Dakota FFA state award for the past 38 years. The award was presented to Parker at the 90th State Convention June 5th in Fargo.