The National FFA Organization recognizes members who go above and beyond with the American Star Awards. With four categories, star in agriscience, agricultural placement, agribussines, and farmer, students are able to let their unique skills and talents be rewarded. The winners receive an honorary plaque and $2,000.
Eric Koehlmoos with South O’Brien FFA Chapter from Paullina, Iowa received the Star in Agriscience award. He had two SAE projects. The first utilizes two native prairie grasses to increase their ethanol yield and protein value of their byproducts. The second, Eric worked with the Kansas FFA Agriscience Fair looks for was to increase participation and awareness of the fair. Upon graduation, Eric will have his degree in Agricultural Education and wants to be a FFA adviser.
Collin Wegner with the Wells FFA chapter in Minnesota received the Star in Placement award. “My SAE project turned into my full time job. I am now working with my family full time at Wegner Farms Partnership. I am the fifth generation to operate the farm. It is something I am very proud of.”
Ben Curtin with the Taylorville FFA Chapter in Illinois received the Star in Agribusiness award. Ben said, “My SAE, Curtin’s Creations, is a metal working shop which specializes in CNC plasma cutting and metal working solutions.” After graduation from Perdue University, he already has a job with GSI and Assumption in Illinois as a product engineer with grain storage and accessories.
Austin Stanton of the Centralia FFA Chapter from Centralia, Missouri received the Star Farmer award. “When I started as a freshman, I had 600 chickens. I have now grown that to over 15,000 as well as diversified with raising potatoes, having pork and custom spraying for farmers.” Austin’s dream has been to be a farmer. Once he graduates from the University of Missouri, he plans on coming back to the farm to hopefully one day raise a family and instill in them all the hard work and dedication he learned from farming and FFA.
Congratulations to all the finalists and the winners of the Star program! Keep working hard and remember everything FFA has taught you.