Garrett Kite wins proficiency on national stage

Garrett Kite of the A. B. Graham Ohio Hi – Point FFA Chapter in St. Paris, Ohio has a placement SAE with a local equipment sales and service company. Here, he is responsible for working on tractors, combines, spraers, planets and other farm implements. At his placement, he’s also learned how to troubleshoot electrical and hydraulic problems. In the future, Kite hopes to build his own shop to work on equipment from. He is supported by his parents Sheila and Evan and his FFA advisor Dawn Wallace. This award is sponsored by Hobart Welding Products and Tractor Supply Company.
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Sundquist inspired members with his speech

Inspirational speaker Josh Sundquist inspired FFA members when he spoke. Sundquist lost his leg to cancer at age 9 and moved on to become an olympic gold medalist and a best selling author. Our own Jamye Freeman sat down with Josh to learn more.

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Georgia FFA member Jacob Schindler named American Star in Agriscience

Jacob Schindler’s sixth-grade science teacher required all of his students to participate in the school science fair.

So he began plotting his project – a mission to Mars.

He theorized that by introducing a noxious, invasive vine native to southern Japan and southeast China called kudzu to the Martian surface, he’d be able to convert the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide into oxygen to make the planet habitable for
humans.

“I read about kudzu when I was a fifth grader and I was simply fascinated by it,” Schindler said. “I read that it was virtually indestructible. I didn’t realize that it wasn’t feasible for me to actually complete this experiment until both my mother and teacher explained to me that by the time I would be able to travel to Mars, the science fair would be over and done with.”
So Schindler changed his plans. Instead of colonizing Mars utilizing kudzu plants, he decided to study the effects that different gasses have on the plant to see whether kudzu would in fact survive in an atmosphere different than that of the Earth. Helium, he determined, kills kudzu in rapid fashion. He reached the state science fair but didn’t win. Again, he didn’t stop.

In seventh grade, he tested the effects of four gasses on kudzu, entered a regional science fair and won. H e was later picked to enter his experiment in the Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge.

Years of work later, and after joining FFA as a means to continue his work in agriscience research, Schindler developed his research on kudzu into his FFA-required supervised agriculture experiment. By his senior year, he had worked with professional researchers, had a patent pending on a drilling apparatus for kudzu control, been interviewed
by CNN and major news outlets about his research and well on his way to a career in agriscience.

“I’m currently working on a site in North Carolina that needs an environmentally friendly method for eradicating kudzu,” he said. “I’m working with the local parks and recreation department and a landscape architect to eliminate 23 acres of kudzu as part of a project to develop an old quarry site into an ecofriendly recreational park.”

Schindler, who attends the University of Georgia majoring in agricultural education, was named 2013 American Star in Agriscience Saturday at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Ky.

Each year at convention, four FFA members are honored with an American Star award for outstanding accomplishments in FFA and agricultural education. The award is the most prestigious honor awarded to a student by the National FFA Organization.

The American Star awards – including the American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience –
are awarded to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of a supervised agricultural experience. A required activity in FFA, a supervised agriculture experience allows students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture – based business or conducting an agriculture – based scientific experiment and reporting 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.

Sixteen American Star award finalists from throughout the U.S. are nominated for a panel of judges to interview during convention. Four are named winners and receive cash awards totaling $4,000. All American Star finalists receive a $2,000 cash award.

Schindler, 20, is a member of the Lowndes County High School FFA chapter in Valdosta, Ga., led by advisors James Corbett, Quinton Hadsock and Michael Barnes.

He is the son of Dr. Julie and Eric Schindler.

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Illinois FFA member Tyler Loschen named American Star Farmer

Tyler Loschen’s father is a former agriculture teacher and his mother was his agriculture teacher and FFA advisor in high school. So naturally, he believes that he was predestined
to be a part of FFA.

The Illinois FFA member always had a strong desire to farm, developed no doubt from early days of playing with farm toys as a young child to spending summertime weeks with two sets of grandparents that farmed as a youth. But since his parents didn’t farm, he knew that if he wanted to follow his dream, he’d have to carve his own path. As a middle-school student, he studied livestock and became very involved in livestock judging. After joining FFA his freshman year, Loschen began a supervised agriculture experience in corn and soybean production. He eventually achieved one of his long-term goals by buying 40 acres of farmland.
Since, he has bought a combine, tractor, planter and other equipment needed to produce and harvest crops. He has made tough financial and management decisions along the way as he grows his farm’s profit ability and works to minimize financial risk.

“I feel very fortunate that my experiences in FFA have laid the foundation for my future,” Loschen said. “I’ve faced the late, wet fall of 2009 and the drought of 2012. I’ve experienced the challenges of highfeed prices and herd health issues and I
have persevered. It is the result of these challenges that drive my passion for production agriculture while providing food for an ever-growing population.”
Saturday at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Ky., Loschen was named 2013 American Star Farmer.
“It’s been a really humbling and gratifying experience to tell my story here in Louisville,” he said. “I’ve sort of built my operation from the ground up. The fact that FFA has allowed me to tell my story has been a gratifying experience.”

Each year at convention, four FFA members are honored with an American Star award for outstanding accomplishments in FFA and agricultural education. The award is the most prestigious honor awarded to a student by the National FFA Organization.

The American Star awards–including the American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience– are awarded to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of a supervised agricultural experience. A required activity in FFA, a supervised agriculture experience allows students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results. Other requirements to achieve the award include demonstrating top management skills; completing key agriculturaleducation, scholastic and leadership requirements; and earning an American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest level of
student accomplishment.
Sixteen American Star award finalists from throughout the U.S. are nominated for a panel of judges to interview during convention. Four are named winners and receive cash awards totaling $4,000. All American Star finalists receive a $2,000
cash award.

Loschen, 21, a member of the Tri-Point High School FFA chapter in Cullom, Ill., has earned a host of state and national FFA awards, including Star Farmer of Illinois, national proficiency awards in diversified agriculture and diversified crop production and chapter Greenhand and Workhorse awards. He served as president, vice president and Greenhand
president of his local FFA chapter.

He is the son of Gary and Diana Loschen, who is his FFA chapter advisor.

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Kentucky FFA member Chelsey Schlosnagle named American Star in Agribusiness

Chelsey Schlosnagle remembers the fun she had as a small girl selling farm-fresh eggs to members of her church. Thanks to word of mouth, demand for her eggs grew. Quickly.
“One day, an upscale restaurant in the area called to see if I could supply 10 dozen eggs a week as the chef was looking to use right, bright yolks for his recipes,” the Kentucky FFA member said. “At first it didn’t seem worth the long drive to take the eggs to the restaurant. But the restaurant quickly expanded its order to 30 dozen a week and the chef’s appreciation for the eggs made me realize how special they were.”
At age 12, Schlosnagle was selling her eggs in the marketplace.

In high school, she and her brother used an old family minivan to deliver eggs to weekly buyers. They would market their business by participating in local food events and taking sample eggs with promotional fliers to potential retail customers. Their effort landed the local Whole Foods and since, Schlosnagle’s egg business has expanded to Whole Food store locations in Lexington, Ky., and Cincinnati.

“When I first began, I didn’t plan on being in a partnership that would entail selling more than 60,000 dozen eggs, 150 free-range turkeys and free-range boilers a year, which is more than half of the business,” she said. “I found myself as part of a local food movement and due to the encouragement and support of my parents and people in my community, I became more interested in the future that my unique business seemed to promise.”

After a redesign of retail egg cartons, business cards and point-of-sale signage, Schlosnagle has her sights set on selling products directly to consumers through a buying club in partnership with Dutch Creek Farm, her family’s farm operation, in downtown Louisville.

“That will allow me to earn retail dollars for eggs on an ongoing basis, not just during local farmers’ markets,” she said. Saturday at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Ky., Schlosnagle was named American Star in Agribusiness.

“I’ve been working on raising chickens since I was 6 years old and since then, it has really grown into a successful enterprise,” she said. “I am so just so excited to be here and have all that hard work pay off.”
Each year at convention, four FFA members are honored with an American Star award for outstanding accomplishments in FFA and agricultural education. The award is the most prestigious honor awarded to a student by the National FFA Organization.

The American Star awards–including the American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience– are awarded to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of a supervised agricultural experience. A required activity in FFA, a supervised agriculture experience allows students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting 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.

Sixteen American Star award finalists from throughout the U.S. are nominated for a panel of judges to interview during convention. Four are named winners and receive cash awards totaling $4,000. All American Star finalists receive a $2,000
cash award.

Schlosnagle, 21, is a member of the Shelby County High School FFA chapter in Shelbyville, Ky., led by advisor Todd Stephens. She is a student at Eastern Kentucky University pursuing a degree in agriculture education with aspirations of being a high
school agriculture teacher.
She is the daughter of Susan and Doug Schlos.

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Zimmerman wins proficiency at the national level

Aaron Zimmerman of the Spencer FFA Chapter in Wisconsin began his SAE with website  design and management, reconfiguring his chapter’s website. Since those early days, he has developed more skills, allowing him to include graphic design, video production, media interviews and event coordination into his repertoire. With his graphicdesign abilities, he has created T – shirts, banners, logos, sale catalogues, advertisements and more. Zimmerman is supported by his parents Cheryl and Mark, wh o is also his FFA advisor. This award is sponsored by Bader Rutter and Associates, Inc. and Keystone Steel & Wire Company – Red Brand.

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Hingson wins national Agriscience Student of the Year

Chance Hingson represented the Lowndes FFA in this years Agriscience Student of the Year competition. Hingson, experimented with crops on his family farm to win the award in the are of Plant Systems Division one. Jamye Freeman has the story.

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Vold wins proficiency on the national level

Skyler Vold of the Red Rock Central FFA chapter in Lamberton, Minnesota, works at an agricultural research center where he raises and sustains eight colonies of different crop pest insects. The insects are raised for research and to sell. When asked about his program, he tells people to imagine a livestock operation but on a much smaller scale. Vold provides the essentials for the insects — food, water and a clean place to live and lay their eggs. He is supported by parents Stacey and Thomas and FFA advisor Gerald Damman. This award is sponsored by the National FFA Foundation, Inc.
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Sharp wins proficiency at the national leve

While working on his uncle’s farm, Garrett Sharp of the Waukomis FFA chapter in Waukomis, Oklahoma, began thinking about conservation practices that would preserve the farm’s natural resources. Working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, he learned to develop a total resource management plan, complete with established grassed waterways, removing invasive cedar trees, construction of water diversion control structures and more. Sharp is supported by parents Janelle and Gary and FFA advisor Jarrod Johnson.
This award is sponsored by The Mosaic Company.
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Seals wins proficiency at the national level

Matthew Seals of the Tazewell FFA chapter in New Tazewell, Tennessee, grew up with a logger for a father and would constantly beg to help him with his work. When he was 10, his father gave him the green light. His first task was to strap logs down on logging trucks. Today, after completing a master logger class, he can help with nearly any aspect of the operation. He plans to further his education and obtain a degree in forestry. Seals is supported by parents Sonya and Jimmy and FFA advisors Jamie Mundy Ball. This award is sponsored by John Deere and RAM Trucks.
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