The National FFA Organization selected 16 students from throughout the United States as finalists for its 2017 top achievement awards: American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience.
The American Star Awards represents the best of the best among thousands of American FFA Degree recipients. The award recognizes FFA members who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through the completion of a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program. A required activity in FFA, an SAE allows members to learn by doing.
Members can own and operate an agricultural business, intern at an agricultural business or conduct an agriculture-based scientific experiment and report the results. Other requirements to achieve the award include demonstrating top management skills; completing key agricultural
education, scholastic and leadership requirements; and earning an American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest level of student accomplishment.
A panel of judges will interview finalists and select one winner for each award at the 90th National FFA Convention & Expo, Oct. 25-28 in Indianapolis. The four winners will be announced during an onstage ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 26. ADM Crop Risk Services, Case IH, Elanco and Syngenta sponsor the American FFA Degree recognition program.
The finalists include:
American Star Farmer
Joseph Arnold of the Lac qui Parle Valley FFA Chapter in Minnesota
Nickolas James Vollmer of the Merino FFA Chapter in Colorado
Jake Fanning of the Laverne FFA Chapter in Oklahoma
Mark Cavallero of the Madera FFA Chapter in California
American Star in Agribusiness
Nathan M. DeYoung of the Shenandoah FFA Chapter in Indiana
Austin D. Nordyke of the Hugoton FFA Chapter in Kansas
Audra Montgomery of the Carrington FFA Chapter in North Dakota
Shaun Wenrick of the Anna FFA Chapter in Ohio
American Star in Agricultural Placement
Matthew S. Ries of the Lomira FFA Chapter in Wisconsin
Devin Debruhl of the Shenandoah FFA Chapter in Indiana
Kellie Mae Einck of the South O’Brien FFA Chapter in Iowa
Bailey Wilson of the Pilot Point FFA Chapter in Texas
American Star in Agriscience
Chrysta Noelle Beck of the Pettisville FFA Chapter in Ohio
Elizabeth Baker-Mikesell of the Greenwood FFA Chapter in Pennsylvania
Leah Danielle Hefty of the DeKalb FFA Chapter in Indiana
Loren Gregory King of the Branch Area Career Centers FFA Chapter in Michigan