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FFA honors Stars over IndianaFFA honors Stars over Indiana

Outstanding Indiana FFA members are recognized during a virtual state convention.

Tom J Bechman 1

June 19, 2020

2 Min Read
Dillon Sheiss, Ethan Buck, Gracie Johnson, Sydney Hefty with FFA Star awards
FFA WINNERS: This year’s Stars over Indiana are Star Farmer Dillon Sheiss (left), Star in Ag Placement Ethan Buck, Star in Agribusiness Gracie Johnson and Star in Agriscience Sydney Hefty.Indiana FFA Association

The Indiana FFA 2019-20 state officers and staff were handed a bushel of lemons in March when the pandemic shut down normal operations. They turned those lemons into lemonade, hosting six virtual sessions of the Indiana FFA Convention during its normal time slot in June. Only the state officers were live on the Purdue University campus, but thousands watched the livestream broadcast over Walton Webcasting.

One highlight was naming the four Stars over Indiana, one for each major category where students turn their supervised agricultural experience programs into various types of projects, businesses and potential future careers.

Here are the 2020 winners:

Star in Agriscience. Sydney Hefty, Dekalb FFA, studied natural herbicide properties using the scientific method in her research during her high school career. She even developed her own natural herbicide.

Star in Agribusiness. Gracie Johnson, Eastern Hancock FFA, started her own dog grooming business. Today, she provides grooming service for 150 dogs from 40 different clients. She keeps all the records and maintains her own equipment.

Star in Ag Placement. Ethan Burk, Rossville FFA, is employed on the family farm, which includes a grain operation and a swine operation. His FFA advisor, Dale Griffin, says Buck hopes to return after college and help grow the farm.

Star Farmer. Dillon Sheiss, Columbia City FFA, maintains three livestock enterprises plus a 1-acre patch of specialty pumpkins, which he markets during the Halloween season. Sheiss has 40 brood cows, raising primarily show calves to sell to other 4-H members. He also has 30 sows of various breeds, raising show pigs. Perhaps most unusual, he maintains a flock of 100 exhibition-quality chickens on his farm.

Skylar Campbell, his FFA advisor, says Sheiss has always been a top-notch student and FFA member. The Star Farmer award is the oldest of the four Star categories.

About the Author(s)

Tom J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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