Ben Alig: A proud member of the agricultural sector

September 12, 2019

BEN AVIG:>>Hi. My name is Benjamin Alig. I
grew up here in the outskirts of Wake Forest, North Carolina, and I went to high school
at St. Thomas More Academy. My background is one of agriculture. When I was 11 years
old, I really got into it in the form of a chicken farm that I started, the Little Birdie
Hatchery. In my junior year of high school I started the FFA chapter. My STEAM experience
was a very good one. It really helped me get into NC State and be who I wanted to be even
though my high school grades weren’t where they needed to be when I graduated. I think
that STEAM was a tremendous opportunity for me, and I would highly recommend it to really
anybody who it’s offered to, because it really gave me the tools to succeed in not only community
college but back here when I was back here at NC State. I am studying poultry science
and ag business — a double major at NC State University. I choose this major really for
one reason — the business side of running a hatchery. Of course, the business is primarily
a chicken farm, so poultry science helped me deal with the chickens, and the ag business
helped me deal with the business aspects. The hatchery I started, like I said, when
I was 11, and it really grew into something I never thought it would. We started when
I was 11, raised up 30 birds, I wanted to have a flock of egg layers, so I could sell
eggs in the neighborhood. So we raised up a flock of 30 birds to about five weeks, which
is when a chicken can go outside without heat. I only wanted about 25, and I put them on
craigslist and in three days I sold all but eight, so I turned around said, ‘Let’s do
this again.’ And it’s really come into something that I never thought it would. Being part
of the agriculture sector means a lot to me, especially this part, especially the small
backyard part. Of course you hear a lot of people saying how by 2050 we are going to
have 9 billion people to feed, and I think that what I am doing here helping people feed
themselves in their own backyard is going to take a lot of the burden off or at least
some of the burden off the agriculture industry and help it focus on other things, such as
feeding Third World countries. If we can feed ourselves, it’ll help the agricultural industry
feed the people who can’t necessarily feed themselves. I also like to give a shout-out
to Mr. and Mrs. Gordon. They’ve been helping me pretty much from the start, from the first
summer session I went to as part of STEAM to even now I see them occasionally. I would
just like to give a special thank-you to them and a thank-you to all the people who have
given me scholarships.

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