Brannon is a successful young entrepreneur and dedicated researcher, successful
in FFA and innovative in his own agricultural pursuits.
brother, Caleb owns a 42-acre row crop farm on land previously owned by their
great-grandmother and has production enterprises on the family farm. At 15, Caleb
founded Brannon AgriEnergy, an agribusiness producing and marketing switchgrass
and other bio-energy crops for biomass energy and future cellulosic ethanol research.
His vision for stewardship and energy development inspired him at age 18 to
secure funding from River Valley Ag Credit for a 10kW solar system.
the FFA Creed, Caleb says, “My passion regarding shaping the future of
agriculture has inspired and motivated me daily to not only set my goals high
through ‘words’ but also to work diligently through ‘deeds’ to obtain them.”
moving into a collegiate environment, Caleb has expanded his leadership roles
serving in many clubs and acting as an ambassador for both Murray State University (MSU) and the MSU School of Agriculture. He also works with MSU Farm
operations, including research on crops and testing and burning several bio-energy
crops with the Equine Center biomass heating unit which heats the building to
keep students and horses warm during winter classes. He also worked with
professors, the farm manager, and other students in planting and researching the
first crops of hemp planted in Kentucky in recent years after it was legalized
through the Federal Farm Bill. Through this project, he conducted research and presented his findings as part of Posters at the Kentucky
Capital undergraduate research conference.
in crop research on the family farm involves working with the Extension Service,
Monsanto and Helena to conduct on farm variety trials, some of which involve testing
new corn hybrids to help identify varieties that increase production using less
water resources. As a highlight of his bioenergy research, he was invited to
present a poster at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Biomass 2014 conference in Washington,
D.C., where he impressed members of the academic community and federal
officials with his research and results.
has won 19 regional and 10 FFA state championships. In 2011, he was state and national
winner of the Agriculture Entrepreneurship Contest, in 2014 he was the state champion
and national finalist in Agriscience Research and in 2015 he was state champion
and national winner in Research in Integrated Agricultural Systems. In 2014, he
was named Kentucky FFA State Star Farmer.
the “triple crown,” earning college scholarships sponsored by BASF in successive
years through the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean
Association and the National Wheat Growers Foundation. He was also twice selected
as the state and local winner of the Kentucky Association of Conservation
Districts scholarship and the local Calloway County Conservation District
“Hunger never sleeps and to feed a growing world that is expected
to reach nine billion people by 2050, farmers will need new tools including
advancements in biotechnology and information technology,” says Caleb. “Most of
all, the future will require us to tell our story. This is why I want to be a
part of the next generation of agriculture.”
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