Texas FFA News  
Sam Rayburn-Ivanhoe FFA Member Honored as One of the Top Agribusiness SAE in the Nation    
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 | Author: Kyle Hampel, National FFA

Like many people in agriculture-adjacent industries, Weston Whiteside is responsible for helping with the family business — but Whiteside, a member of Sam Rayburn FFA in Ivanhoe, Texas, said his family’s landscaping work had humble beginnings.

“My dad [is] a firefighter in the McKinney Fire Department, and it was just something to keep him busy and have a little extra cash,” Whiteside said. “I don’t think he ever thought it would turn into something like this.”

Whiteside bought Whiteside Landscaping from his father in 2016, and for the past seven years he has been running it with the help of his brother. They offer a variety of landscaping services, including mowing, weed control, leaf blowing, tree trimming, shrub cleaning, flower planting and more. They also hang Christmas lights to stay busy in the winter.

Since 2016, Whiteside Landscaping has grown from serving eight clients to 65 clients. Whiteside said he is proud of how much the business has expanded over the years, and he says he couldn’t have done it without his family and FFA advisors.

“It’s turned into something now that’s helped me pay for college,” Whiteside said. “When you’re a teenage kid, you want money for girlfriends and trucks and stuff like that. It paid for that and much more.”

Whiteside is currently majoring in agribusiness at the College of the Ozarks in Missouri. He said he’ll return to his landscaping company after graduating, but for now, he’s focused on playing baseball for the Bobcats as long as he can. Whiteside said his favorite professional teams are the Rangers and the Dodgers.

For FFA members interested in starting a supervised agricultural experience (SAE), Whiteside said his advice is to never give up, even when things are tough.

“There’s going to be times where you really just don’t want to,” Whiteside said. “But it paid off for me, so it can pay off for anyone else. … It’s going to suck, but you’ve just got to keep going.”

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