In addition to classroom work, Juan Ramirez, welds items for the school and community, has competed on three FFA Career Development Events teams, works two after-school-jobs and helps his parents at home in their garden and with their chickens.
“I obviously like to work. I don’t like to stand around,” Ramirez said. “I like working with other people and I really enjoy being creative and productive.”
In his FFA chapter at American Falls High School, Ramirez, 18, and his teammates competed in small engines, forestry and agricultural issues CDE’s. They won first place in agricultural issues and last fall represented Idaho at the national FFA convention held in Indianapolis. Ramirez is treasurer of his FFA chapter. He recently placed first in the East Magic Valley FFA District Proficiency in Placement, becoming a finalist in the Idaho FFA Proficiency and Idaho Star Award competitions. Ramirez is also highly active in Business Professionals of America. Rameriz’s parents are Gabriel Model and Hugo Ramirez of American Falls.
“Nationals was fun and it was great to represent Idaho. I’d never been to a big city before. It was interesting seeing all the differences between rural and non-rural areas, how others live and the variety of jobs people have,” he said.
Rameriz’s ag teacher and FFA adviser Courtney Knickrehm said Rameriz is an outstanding student and individual.
“He’s a rock star in our FFA chapter,” Knickrehm said. “He’s an English-as-a-second language student who has the drive and determination to take him anywhere he wants to go in life. He is a very genuine, kind and hardworking young man.”
For their senior project, Ramirez and classmates Jackson Beck and Braeden Ralphs welded and painted a foot-bridge to span a run-off canal making access easier between schools. They’ve welded some outdoor exercise stations where people can do sit-ups and pull-ups that will be permanently installed at Marina Park at the Willow Bay Recreation Area near the American Falls Reservoir. They’ve also welded some portable judging stands for the Pocatello Trap Club for use during their competitions.
“It’s pretty neat and so far everything is coming along well,” Rameriz said. “The welding shop offers a lot of opportunities for us, for the school and for the community as well.”
After school, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Ramirez works at CHS Bingham Cooperative-Agronomy North Dry Fertilizer in American Falls doing a variety of jobs. Then from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., he’s off to help local farmers Lamar Isaak and Duane Isaak. His main job is moving wheel lines but he’s also does odd jobs. He’s worked there for three years.
“It’s fun. I like it and I get to meet a lot of people and have new opportunities each day,” Rameriz said.
Rameriz plans to go to Idaho State University this fall and major in diesel mechanics. He’d prefer to work for CHS once he graduates from the two-year program.
“I’d really like to work up in the company this summer and work in the agronomy area, and eventually I’d like to be a diesel mechanic there. I want to stay with the company. All of the people there are really nice and I like working with them,” Rameriz said.
At home Rameriz can be counted on to help out in the family’s 50- by 50-foot garden. Some of the vegetables the family raises are corn, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and several different pepper varieties. They also have a flock of about 200 chickens.
“I think it’s nice to do stuff on your own,” Rameriz said. “We’ve had a big garden forever and we raise chickens. We’d rather eat the chickens we raise than buy them in the grocery store.”