South Dakota FFA member named American Star Finalist

South Dakota FFA Foundation
Farm Forum

A South Dakota FFA member is a finalist for one of the top achievements within the National FFA Organization. The FFA announced Aug. 10 that Cole James Schock, from the McCook Central FFA chapter in Salem, S.D., is a candidate for the American Star in Ag Placement award.

The American Star Awards are some of the FFA’s highest achievement awards and represent the best of the best among thousands of American FFA Degree recipients. The award recognizes FFA members who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through the completion of a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program. A required activity in FFA, an SAE allows members to learn by doing. Members can own and operate an agricultural business, intern at an agricultural business or conduct an agriculture-based scientific experiment and report the results. Four students are selected in each area and the 2020 finalists include:

American Star Farmer

  • Cole Ketterling of Wishek, N.D.
  • Nole Gerfen of Marion, Ohio.
  • JaLeigh Reneé Oldenburg of Mulhall, Okla.
  • Mikara Anderson of Three Springs, Penn.
American Star in Agribusiness
  • William Kellum of Jefferson, Ga.
  • Ely Matthew Boulds of Eldorado, Ill.
  • Hannah York of Fredonia, Ky.
  • Blake Kirchhoff of Hardy, Neb.
American Star in Agricultural Placement
  • Ryan Adelbert Stewart of Washington, Kan.
  • Will Shelby of Madill, Okla.
  • Cole James Schock of Salem, S.D.
  • Wilson Nugent of Gilmer, Texas.
American Star in Agriscience
  • Lauren Roberts of Trenton, Fla.
  • Maddie Sue Fugate of Mahomet, Ill.
  • Nicole Stevens of Yukon, Okla.
  • Jacob Bagby of Stephenville, Texas.

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.

A panel of judges will interview finalists and select one winner for each award category for the 93rd National FFA Convention & Expo, which will be held virtually this fall. The four winners will be announced during the convention. Case IH, Elanco Animal Health and Syngenta sponsor the American FFA Degree recognition program.