Graduate turns experience into success in FFA

From the time Maverick Liles was young boy, he knew somehow he was going to be involved in the agricultural industry.
“Before we moved here, we lived close to my grandparents,” the 2011 Wapakoneta High School graduate said. “They had a 1,200-acre crop farm and a swine farm. I spent a lot of time there. I still work there two or three days a week.”
Now older, Liles has turned that experience into success in FFA at his high school. He was honored as a Star Chapter Farmer, an award meriting outstanding FFA students, was awarded a state degree through the Ohio FFA, and placed second in the district in swine proficiency for the second straight year.
Liles, who received honors as the center on the Wapakoneta Redskins football team, credited a lot of his success from encouragement he has received from his family.
His parents, Brandi and Jay Liles, as well as his maternal grandparents that own the farm, Marlene and Steve Bates of West Mansfield, have always stood behind him in his endeavors.
“I knew since I was young that some aspect of farming is what I was going to do,” Liles said. “I spent so much time on the farm that I was with my grandparents as much as I was with my parents. They would have encouraged me no matter what I decided to do, but I know it makes them happy that I decided to go this way.”
The graduate is now planning to begin his college education at the Ohio State University-Lima branch. He currently plans on seeking a degree in agricultural education. After one year at the branch, he plans to transfer to the main campus in Columbus.
“I am excited about getting started,” Liles said.
Liles said that while he plans to start out in agricultural education, he may make a switch down the line depending on the economy.
“It’s not set in stone right now,” Liles said. “With the way the economy is right now, they are making a lot of cuts and it could affect getting a job in that area, but I am studying in an area that I will be able to switch to something else easily. No matter what, it will be in the agricultural field.”