Local student has bright future in agriculture
By Angela Askey, Director of Marketing
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – For Preston Sipes, a May 2013 Casa Grande Union High School graduate, agricultural roots run deep. His interest in the field began at a young age while learning from his father, Steven, a local farmer, ag teacher and Future Farmers of America (FFA) advisor.
Throughout his high school career, Sipes participated in FFA holding various leadership positions; Chapter Treasurer, Chapter Secretary and Chapter President. He also earned numerous awards.
In the ninth grade, Sipes was a member of the winning Soils Career Development Event team and named Star State Greenhand for his success at raising a steer, 34 acres of cotton and small grains, and a landscaping project.
His success continued into the 10th grade where he was first high individual and his team won the entomology competition. This was followed up with parliamentary procedure and ag mechanics wins in both his junior and senior year. Other accolades include proficiency awards in fiber production, diversified crop production, grain production and agricultural sales.
As a senior, Sipes was named State Star Farmer and State FFA Degree Recipient, the highest award a student can receive, for his efforts in producing 85 acres of small grains and cotton and raising beef steers.
In recognition of his success as a student, Sipes received the Central Arizona College Guy Gilbert Scholarship along with sizeable scholarships from Pinal County Farm Bureau and Pinal County Junior Livestock Committee, each of which are helping him to follow his dreams and receive a college education.
Over the past two summers and part time during the school year, Sipes has continued to learn about agricultural practices as an intern with Helena Chemical Company. As a pest control advisor he travels throughout Pinal County inspecting crops on a daily basis.
This fall, Sipes will begin his college education at Central Arizona College to pursue an associate degree in agriculture. He also has plans to assist with the FFA competitions held at CAC in November, February and April, sharing his experiences with future generations.
“I look forward to being able to take what I learn in the classroom and apply it in the field,” Sipes, who is excited to learn more about the future of agriculture, said.
After completing a degree at CAC he plans to transfer to the University of Arizona to earn a bachelor’s degree in either plant science or agronomy.