James McMahon and W. Ross Rojik, both of Petersburg, recently received awards from the National FFA.
McMahon was selected as a national finalist for the National FFA Proficiency Award in Home and/or Community Development - Entrepreneurship/ Placement. He will be among four people competing for this award at the national finals next month during the FFA national convention in Indianapolis.
The award is for activities that involve improving and protecting the beauty of an area through natural vegetation or ornamental plants and/or modernizing a home for better health and comfort.
W. Ross Rojik
Each of the finalists will receive a plaque and $500. The national winner will receive an additional $500 during a special ceremony at the convention.
McMahon is the son of Jamey McMahon and Chris Grazier. He is a senior at Juniata Valley High School, where he is the student adviser of the Blue Juniata FFA Chapter. He has been a junior firefighter with the Shavers Creek Volunteer Fire Company since 2006 and has recently joined the Twin Creeks Volunteer Ambulance Service.
Rojik was selected as one of the 10 national winners for the National FFA Organization's Agri-Entrepreneurship Award Program. There were more than 100 applications nationwide for the award, which honors FFA members who have created a plan to pursue a previously overlooked market opportunity. This program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
He will receive $1,000 and be recognized at the National FFA Convention.
He is the sole founder and owner of Mountin' Man Taxidermy just outside of Petersburg. He began his taxidermy business at age 16 when he was a sophomore at Juniata Valley High School.
Now 19 years old, Rojik has tripled his business over the past three years.
"I try to make animals look as natural as possible. If I can do that and get them to really look like they did while they were alive, I'm extremely happy," Rojik said.
He is the son of Wendel and Janelle Rojik.
Both McMahon and Rojik are members of the Juniata Valley FFA.