National FFA Organization names 2016 Star finalists

Farm Forum

INDIANAPOLIS – The National FFA Organization has selected 16 students from throughout the United States as finalists for its 2016 top achievement awards: American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience.

The American Star Awards represent the best of the best among thousands of American FFA Degree recipients. Recognized are FFA members who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through supervised agricultural experience (SAE) programs; earned an American FFA Degree, the highest level of achievement the organization bestows upon a member; and met agricultural education, leadership and scholarship requirements.

Each star finalist receives $2,000 from the National FFA Foundation.

A panel of judges will interview finalists and select one winner for each award at the 89th National FFA Convention & Expo, Oct. 19-22, in Indianapolis. The four winners will receive an additional $2,000 and be announced at the convention and expo’s third general session as part of the Stars Over America Pageant on Thursday, Oct. 20.

The American FFA Degree recognition program is sponsored by ADM Crop Risk Service, Case IH, Elanco, Farm Credit and Syngenta as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

The finalists include:

American Star Farmer

• Tony Phillip Lopes of the Gustine FFA Chapter in California

• Tysen Rosenau of the Carrington FFA Chapter in North Dakota

• Evan Schaefer of the Miami Trace FFA Chapter in Ohio

• Tyler Jacob Schnaithman of the Garber FFA Chapter in Oklahoma

American Star in Agribusiness

• Terry Napier of the Madison Southern FFA Chapter in Kentucky

• David Stenzel of the United South Central FFA Chapter in Minnesota

• Garrett Dale Yerigan of the Pryor FFA Chapter in Oklahoma

• Shane A. Mueller of the Garretson FFA Chapter in South Dakota.

American Star in Agricultural Placement

• Joseph Knapp Boddiford of the Southeast Bulloch FFA Chapter in Georgia

• Riley A. Lewis of the Prairie Heights FFA Chapter in Indiana

• Brett Petersen of the Kerkohoven Murdock Sunburg FFA Chapter in Minnesota

• Nathan Leystra of the Randolph Cambria-Friesland FFA Chapter of Wisconsin

American Star in Agriscience

• Jordan Paine of the Southern Valley FFA Chapter in Nebraska

• Elizabeth A. Renner of the West Central FFA Chapter in South Dakota

• Taylor Shayne Swinson of the Sulphur Springs FFA Chapter in Texas

• Kaitlin Hallam of the Spanish Fork FFA Chapter in Utah

Visit for more information about the American Star Awards.