Kayla Johnson 

Kayla Johnson

Kayla Johnson, Granton, has been named on of the five state finalists for the
Small Animal Production and Care Proficiency Award for FFA. 
Submitted photo

By Valerie Brecht    

Kayla Johnson of Granton has found her passion in taking care of animals.

“I’ve learned that’s it’s something I’m good at, something I’m passionate [about.] I understand animals really well and that allows me to provide the best care I can for them,” she said.

Kayla is a state finalist for the Small Animal Production and Care Proficiency Award for FFA. There are five state finalists in each category, and one is selected to advance to the national competition. Kayla will find out if she advances during the Wisconsin FFA Virtual State Convention June 15-18.

Kayla, who just completed her first year of college, said she’s always enjoyed being around animals.

“I’ve been exposed to animals my entire life. Growing up on a dairy farm, it’s pretty much just been a natural thing,” she said.

In middle school, she took that enjoyment of animals and turned it into starting her own pet-sitting service. She serves multiple clients in the community and has taken care of around 20-to-25 pets. She also has three cats of her own.

“It was kind of just word of mouth. I heard about people that were looking for pet sitters and I thought it’d be something I could do and then I started finding more and more people and you know, word kind of gets around,” Kayla said.

She also helps out at the Clark County Humane Society. She applied for a local FFA proficiency in middle school, as her business grew, she applied for a state proficiency. The state proficiency has additional requirements and is more competitive. To apply for the award, Kayla had to track all the hours she spent pet sitting and at the humane society since middle school, as well as write about what she learned and what skills she acquired. She said she’s gained a lot of practical knowledge through her work.

“Working with them hands-on, I’ve … learned a lot about behavior and a lot more about things like breeds and healthcare, some of the more technical stuff like that.”

Not only has Kayla completed an FFA proficiency in her area of expertise, she has also turned I into a future career. Kayla is attending UW-River Falls, studying animal science.

“Working with animals made me realize that ‘Yeah, I can do this as a career,’” said Kayla.

Although she’s not sure exactly what job she will pursue after college, she said her degree could lend itself to several options, including something in the veterinary field, training or rescue.

Johnson was quite involved in FFA in high school, serving as her chapter’s secretary, president and vice president in consecutive years. She’s glad that FFA gave her an outlet to pursue her interests and learn more about herself.

“I think everyone should give it a try because there’s a lot of diversity and there’s stuff for everyone, to fit everyone’s interests. It can really help you – if you’re unsure about what you want to do in the future, it might help you discover what you want to do. It’s also a way to gain leadership skills and develop some confidence that way.”  


From the Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

May 27, 2020

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon, May 28, 2020

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, May 29, 2020

Return to Grant Township Community Web Page

Return to Grant Township Web Page



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