When a Snag Sparks Spirit
Princeton FFA member Brylee Williams turns challenges into big rewards.
Princeton FFA member Brylee Williams knows first-hand how a challenge can help develop passion in something.
The 2020 National Swine Production Entrepreneurship Proficiency Award finalist lost every litter born in January 2018 when Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) hit her farrowing house.
“We ran tests on every single pig we lost and worked with our vet for months to ensure that we did not have the problem again,” Williams explains.
Today, the young entrepreneur implements a strict vaccination protocol to help ensure pigs stay healthy.
Williams grew up exhibiting livestock and has always had an interest in swine production.
“When I was very young my dad raised hogs at the Princeton FFA Research Farm,” she says. “Some of my fondest memories were going down to the farrowing house and playing with the baby pigs. It only made sense that swine production would be my SAE (supervised agricultural experience).”
As part of her swine production entrepreneurship SAE, Williams has held two successful online pig sales and has placed three boars in boar studs across the country. She says that, coupled with her love of feeding and showing pigs, has only further developed her passion for the industry.
“Over the past few years, I have learned countless lessons,” Williams says. “From health and disease to feeding and breeding, I have tried my best to be a sponge.”
With lofty goals in mind, Williams hopes to continue learning from mentors in the industry. She says building relationships with others not only helps her troubleshoot potential problems in her operation, but also is key to building a network of customers.
“Hard work pays off,” she says. “Moving forward in life is dependent on learning from where you have been. Over the years I have been able to pursue my passion for the livestock industry, but my journey is far from over.”
by Joann Pipkin