Charlie Tank is FFA finalist
ST. PAUL — Being a National FFA Finalist is a great honor, Charlie Tank said.
Tank, of Cottage Grove, joined the Randolph FFA chapter because his high school, Park High in Cottage Grove, doesn’t offer FFA.
"I have learned a lot from my SAE, including agronomic skills, finance, business management skills, marketing, advertising, sales and customer service," Tank said via a Facebook message. "I am looking forward to competing at the national level."
Tank is a National Finalist in Vegetable Production Entrepreneurship Placement.
His Supervised Agricultural Experience includes sweet corn, plus pumpkins, gourds, corn shocks, straw bales and other fall produce. Hs business is Tank’s Corner Stand.
His stand is located in his grandmother’s front yard, on the corner of a busy four-way intersection in Cottage Grove. He sells sweet corn, produce and fall decorative items at the stand. His family lives and farms in Cottage Grove.
"Being the only farm kid in a class of over 625 students, I was eager to take advantage of Mr. (Ed) Terry’s evening FFA classes at Randolph and have the opportunity to experience some of all that FFA has to offer even if I couldn’t be in an FFA class everyday at high school," Tank said.
He started growing vegetables at a young age. His grandfather always planted a small sweet corn patch and his cousins sold the sweet corn. After they graduated and went away to college, Tank and another cousin took over. They expanded the patch and added produce. When his cousin graduated and left for college, Tank took over the business and started his SAE.
"My SAE experience helped me decide I want to pursue a career in production agriculture," Tank said.
He plants five sweet corn varieties over six days on 4.3 acres to extend his fresh sweet corn season.
Terry encouraged him to keep detailed and accurate records for his SAE.
"As my sweet corn and fall produce business grew, he saw an opportunity for me to take my business to the next level and gave me lots of good advice," Tank said.
His family has also been helpful.
"In the summer, my dad, uncle and sister help me pick sweet corn every morning," Tank said. "In the fall, my sister helps me out by managing the pumpkin and fall produce stand while I’m helping with harvest on our farm."
Tank is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota studying agriculture industries and marketing.