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Iowa FFA Stars announced

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 05/14/2013 8:34 AM

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AMES, Iowa — The 2013 Stars Over Iowa were announced at last week's Iowa FFA Leadership Conference. Twenty-two finalists were introduced in Agricultural Placement, Agribusiness, Agricultural Production and Agriscience. Selected members received the Iowa FFA Degree, the highest honor that can be bestowed on an FFA member by the state association. Six hundred thirty-nine members received the Iowa FFA Degree in 2013 and 22 were selected for outstanding recognition in the Stars Over Iowa ceremony.

Natalie Hanson of LaPorte City-Dysart FFA at LaPorte City won Star in Agribusiness. She raises three acres of fall produce and potted chrysanthemums and markets her products at area farmers markets, community events and an on-farm location. Her parents are Robert and Maureen Hanson and her FFA advisor is Louis Beck.

Austin Knapp of the Western Dubuque FFA at Epworth won Star in Agriculture Production. He markets, manages and sells quality Guernsey genetics through live animals and embryos across the country and in countries around the world including Brazil, Sweden, China and Thailand. His ultimate goal is to breed a Grand Champion Guernsey at the World Dairy Expo. His parents are Randy and Wanda Knapp, and his FFA advisor is Matt Lansing.

Tyler Swenson of Montezuma FFA won Star in Agriculture Placement. He is herdsman at Hill Top Farms Swine Genetics. Over the four years of his FFA career he has worked more than 3,000 hours helping with artificial insemination, raising and selling show pigs and creating promotional materials. His parents are Rick and Molly Swenson. His father is also his FFA advisor.

Kellie Einck of South O'Brien FFA at Paullina won Star in Agri Science. She has conducted research on making ethanol in an artificial rumen using bacteria to break down the sugars. She was fourth place winner at the National FFA Agriscience Fair. Her parents are Paul and Lee Einck, and her FFA advisor is Eric Kumm.

Agribusiness finalists were Lynelle Mogler, West Lyon FFA; Megan McEnany, Colo-Nesco FFA; Brady Marienau, Le Mars FFA; Harlie Jo Boyer, Agri-Power FFA; and Luke Hoger, South O'Brien FFA.

Agriculture Production finalists were Kyle Henkle, Vinton-Shellsburg FFA; Samantha Urmie, North Scott FFA; Dustin Smith, Decorah FFA; Connor Hildreth, South Central Calhoun FFA; and Jacob Meyer, West Lyon FFA.

Finalists in Agriculture Placement were Steven Connell, DeWitt FFA; Megan Rauen, West Dubuque FFA; Eric Metzger, West Lyon FFA; John Freund, Atlantic FFA; and Brock Boswell, Central Trail FFA.

Agri Science finalists were Elizabeth Bjelica, Charles City FFA; Megan Collison, South Central Calhoun FFA; and Michaela Hoffelmeyer, Winterset FFA.