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FFA Students ‘Lead Out Loud’
By Trista Gropp
DEC. 1, 2009 | University of Wisconsin- River Falls students are heeding the theme of the recent National FFA Convention, “Lead Out Loud,” as two students earned the national recognition from prestigious awards and others received the American FFA Degree.
UWRF students went to Indianapolis Oct. 21-24 to participate in convention activities, contests and award presentations.
Amy Lynn Robak (pictured, center), a senior conservation major from Oak Park, Minn., was named the 2009 American Star in Agriscience, while Jordan Hanson, a sophomore animal science-equine emphasis major from Chatfield, Minn., won an Agri-Entrepreneurship Award.
Each year, the national FFA organization selects 16 finalists (four per award) for the organization’s top awards: American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience.
Star awards recognize students who have developed outstanding agricultural skill and competency through their career development programs, demonstrated outstanding management skills, and earned the American FFA Degree.
Robak’s interest in conservation and agronomy led her to an award-winning Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project as a Star in Agriscience finalist. As part of her project, Robak worked at the Benton County Soil and Water Conservation Office, assisting with farmers concerned with environmental and natural resource issues on their land.
Robak says, “My nutrient management research project influences me enough to pursue a minor in land use planning focusing on agriculture preservation.”
At the convention, a panel of judges interviewed Robak. Then, at a ceremony she was named the winner and received a plaque and $4,000 prize.
The Agri-Entrepreneurship Awards honor FFA members who have recognized a market opportunity that was overlooked by others and conceived a plan to pursue that opportunity.
Hanson began his business endeavors at a young age with a pony. Since first becoming involved with horses, he has grown his interest into a business, JH Horse Company.
Hanson travels to horse sales, purchasing as many horses as he can handle and then puts extra training into them to make them more valuable. Since coming to UWRF, he has relocated his business to the River Falls area. He is one of 10 students from across the country that received the National Agri-Entrepreneurship Award and a $1,000 prize.
Numerous UWRF students also received the American FFA Degree, which is the highest degree awarded by the national FFA organization and recognizes students’ demonstrated leadership abilities and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing and service programs.
Students who received the honor and gold American FFA Degree key are (listed by state, name, city, class rank and major):
Christopher Sanford - Parma, sophomore, dairy science
Jessi Beucler - Faribault, sophomore, modern language
Jason Brian Keck - Owatonna, freshman, crop and soil science
Nathan Laska - Winona, sophomore, agricultural education
Michelle S. Meyer - Caledonia, junior, conservation
Amy Lynn Robak - Oak Park, junior, conservation
Peter Thome - Adams, junior, agricultural education
Seth Wier - Lake Elmo, junior agricultural engineering tech
Kellie Behnke - Clintonville, sophomore, agricultural business
Jordana Beyer - Weyauwega, junior, biotechnology
Ruth Bohnhoff - Plymouth, freshman, horticulture
Amanda Boyea - De Pere, sophomore, animal science
Bobbi Christenson - Amery, junior, agricultural education
Zachery Czech - Boyd, junior, agricultural business
Riley Ebert - Brillion, sophomore, animal science
Trista Gropp - Spencer, junior, marketing communications- ag emphasis
Rosemary Gudex - Campbellsport, freshman, agricultural education
Joshua Gunderson - Manawa, junior, agricultural education
Amanda Haase - Somerset, junior, agricultural education
Jenn Krultz - Greenwood, sophomore, dairy science
Emily Lezpona - Holmen, sophomore, agricultural education
Gregory Logterman - Fairchild, junior, agricultural business
Jason Mathre - Bloomington, junior, agricultural studies
Ramanda Maves - Scandinavia, sophomore, horticulture
Andy Moravec - Bear Creek, junior, agricultural engineering tech
Alex Patten - Boyd, sophomore, agricultural business
Jared Stillman - Weyauwega, sophomore, animal science
Hannah Stuttgen - Spencer, junior, agricultural studies
Andrya Whitten - Edgerton, sophomore, conservation
Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:09:57 Central Daylight Time
University of Wisconsin - River Falls