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Two Students Win Top FFA Awards
By Michelle Nikolai
UW-RF News Bureau

Two students from the University of Wisconsin River Falls recently received top awards at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky.

Karlene Lindow, a senior animal science major from Chili, Wis., was awarded the FFA American Star Farmer Award. She is the first female to receive this award. The Star Farmer Award is based on leadership, student-created programs, grade point average and community involvement, and is the oldest and most prestigious award the FFA confers.

Lindow grew up on her parents' purebred hog farm. She is involved in her family's hog breeding, dairy and beef operations and hopes to return to the family farm when she graduates.

Michelle Backhaus, a freshman agricultural marketing communications major from Mayville, Wis., was awarded the top honor of National Proficiency Award in Agricultural Sales Placement. She holds three different sales positions. Besides working at her family business, Specialty Ice Co. Inc. of Mayville, Wis, Backhaus also works at a local strawberry farm and has managed the local FFA greenhouse for two years.

"In all three sales positions, I work directly with the customers," Backhaus said. "I market the products by designing promotional materials and advertisements. I am extremely proud of my accomplishments, and I hope I can motivate other, younger FFA members to set goals and work hard to attain them."

Proficiency awards recognize outstanding student achievements in agri-business gained through the establishment of a new business, working for an existing business or hands-on career experience.

Backhaus gained the bulk of her experience while working for the ice company her family owns, helping to purchase a computer and install a bookkeeping system to access account information. She also designed a new company logo that is displayed on the firm's letterheads, financial statements and fleet of delivery trucks.


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