SNYDER, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – 20-year-old Jaxson Collier, originally of Snyder, was recently named number one in the state for agricultural placement. This Future Farmers of America (FFA) competition judges and ranks agricultural employment and understanding of the field. As the top Texas performer, Collier will now attend the National Competition in Indianapolis November 1-4. There, he will be one of four finalists hoping to receive the national ‘American Star Award.’

“When I was 14 and got into high school in the FFA, we were like, well, you’re working, let’s just record it. Let’s put it in a record book and submit it for some applications. Maybe we can get some scholarships in it… Now we’re here hoping to make it on the big stage,” Collier said.

He is now a senior at Texas Tech University studying Agri-Business with the intent to become an agricultural real estate broker. His agricultural career began on the fields of Snyder’s T&K dairy farm, His family’s business.

“My great grandfather and grandfather Tim and Keith. They started the farm in 1982, named it T&K Dairy, and we’ve been able to keep the farm up and running for the past 40-something years,” said Collier.

The skills and work ethic he and his siblings learned at the farm are the basis of his success in the field. As his record book will attest, farming has come a long way since the founding of his family farm. T&K installed a few fully robotic milking machines about two years ago.

“With these robotic parlors, we milk 1,100 heads with one to two guys,” Collier explained.

Even machines need oversight; this is where Collier was able to shine.

“I was more tech-savvy, so to say, just because it was the generation I had grown up in, so I kinda got to help teach and acclimate most of the cows on the first robotic barn,” Collier said.

He stated that automation like this is becoming increasingly relevant to the agriculture industry and serves as a sign of the need for more young people to join the field.

“The only thing I would say to future members or young agriculturalists is number one; we need agriculturalists, and number two, don’t be afraid to jump in and ask for help because without help, the help that I got. I wouldn’t be here today,” Collier shared.

While he is hopeful of bringing home the national title, he shared that he is grateful just to be named among the top four in the nation.

“Definitely crossing my fingers to win in Indianapolis here in about a week and a half… I’m representing Snyder, I’m representing my old high school, I’m representing Lubbock, I’m representing Texas. So if I do bring home a win, just add one more championship to Texas Tech, I guess,” Collier said.

In Indianapolis, Collier will be competing against Lance Moritz of Streator, Illinois, Riley Berger of Ridgewood, Ohio, and Whitney Glazier of Lomega, Oklahoma.