Freshman Places Third in National Ag Communications Competition

Trey Waldrop, an Augustana University freshman, placed No. 3 in a national ag communications competition through the FFA.

Trey Waldrop, a freshman from Miller, South Dakota, took third place in the National FFA Agricultural Communications Career Development Event held in conjunction with the national FFA Convention and Expo last month in Indianapolis, Indiana.

A competitive event, the exercise is designed to test students' skills in all areas of the agricultural communications field and evaluate how well they can apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations.

Waldrop, a chemistry and physics double major and a member of Civitas, the University's honors program, became involved in FFA while in high school. At the national convention, he was challenged to develop effective written and verbal presentations to communicate innovative agricultural practices.

Admitting that competing in a national competition can be nerve-wracking, Waldrop said the opportunity was also fun since it allowed him to stretch his creative muscle.

“I really enjoy writing,” he said.

In addition to writing, the competition also considered related skills such as grammar, ethics and editing — areas Waldrop said he’s always looking to improve upon.

“The ability to communicate your ideas — verbally and in writing — is really a necessity to succeed in any career,” he said.

After Augustana, Waldrop said he plans to pursue graduate school and hopes to one day work in either research or medicine.

“When I was a junior in high school I took chemistry for the first time and loved it,” he said. “I also enjoy math. I really like how science makes me think and I really like the ideas of theoretical physics.”

He chose Augustana, he says, because here he was able to attend to multiple paths.

“I was encouraged to pursue all of the areas I was interested in,” he said. “My creative interests are sparked in my courses like 'The Literary Experience,' and my scientific interests are sparked in my chemistry and physics courses. Here, I’m really encouraged to become a well-rounded individual.”

Waldrop is the son of Bob and Tammie Waldrop.