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Holloway teen named American Star Farmer

A Holloway teen is one of four FFA members nationally to earn American Star Awards.

Joseph Arnold, a member of the Lac qui Parle Valley FFA chapter, was named an American Star Farmer during the recent National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis.

According to a news release from the FFA organization, Arnold worked on the family farm for his supervised agricultural experience. He discovered he needed to diversify his crops to sustain his operation. As part of his process, he invested in shares of stock in the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative. He then researched the possibility of growing additional varieties of beans and other produce. As a result, today his operation yields corn, soybeans, navy beans, kidney beans and sugar beets.

For the past four years, Arnold has farmed and controlled every aspect of the production and marketing of his crops. He also strives to learn new ways to improve his operation.

The four American Star Awards — Farmer, Agribusiness, Agricultural Placement and Agriscience — are presented to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of a supervised agricultural experience. The four award winners receive cash awards totaling $4,000.

The supervised agricultural experience allows students to learn by doing, by either owning or operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.

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.

Other award winners from west central Minnesota are as follows:

Ag Proficiency Awards

Four area students were national finalists. They each received $500. Three are from Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City FFA and one from Hancock.

ACGC FFA: Dillon Gratz in dairy production — placement; Daniel Williamson in environmental science and natural resources management — entrepreneurship/placement; and Kayla Kutzke in specialty animal production - entrepreneurship/placement.

Hancock FFA: Brady Carter in sheep production — entrepreneurship/placement.

Career Development Events

There are 27 Career and Leadership Development categories and area students or teams placed in four of them.

Conduct of Chapter Meetings Leadership Development: The Litchfield FFA team placed fourth and were a gold emblem team. Team members are Anna Eurele, Dane Lewis, Miles Kerstein, Jacob Huhn, Logan Peterson, Cole Lawerence and Joseph Carlson.

Extemporaneous Public Speaking: Savannah Aanerud of Morris Area FFA received a bronze emblem.

Prepared Public Speaking: Kylee Kohls of Litchfield FFA received a silver emblem.

Veterinary Science: The New London-Spicer FFA team received a silver emblem. Team members and their individual emblems were Annika Spors (gold), Stella Depuydt (silver) and Courtney Knisley and Dylan White (bronze).

KMS teacher honored

Christa Williamson of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg FFA received an Honorary American FFA Degree this year.

Teachers who have created high-quality agricultural education programs which inspire and motivate their students to strive for success are eligible. In order to qualify for an Honorary American FFA Degree, 85 percent of the teacher's agriculture students must have been in FFA in the last year and the teacher must have been teaching agriculture for at least 10 years.