The Ellsworth FFA chapter received the prestigious Triple Crown award at the final session of the 91st Kansas FFA Convention, May 29-31, on the Kansas State University campus.
Under guidance from advisor Karl Hobb, the Ellsworth FFA chapter earned the highest combined score over three separate divisions: Building Communities, Growing Leaders and Strengthening Agriculture. The chapter engaged in activities to promote career success, leadership, citizenship, agricultural advocacy, chapter recruitment and much more.
The chapter will receive $300 and the Garlow Memorial Trophy, which is sponsored by the Bill Garlow Family in memory of past Kansas FFA officer Bob Garlow. Garlow’s state officer teammates joined him on stage to congratulate the Ellsworth chapter this year on the 50th anniversary since their term in office.
Runners-up for the Triple Crown award were: Royal Valley FFA in second place; Arkansas City FFA in third place; Southwestern Heights FFA in fourth place; and Udall FFA in fifth place.
The Triple Crown award is given to the FFA chapter that performs the best in the National Chapter Award program, which recognizes chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization in the three divisions. Awards are given in each of these three areas in the divisions of bronze, silver and gold. Chapters in the gold division qualify as finalists for the Triple Crown.
Each year, the Kansas FFA Association also recognizes three FFA members who have the top Supervised Agricultural Experience programs with the Star Farmer, Star in Agribusiness and Star in Ag Placement awards. The Star competitions are sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, United Bank and Trust, and Kansas Farm Bureau.
State Star Farmer
Natoma FFA member Ethan Dickerson was recognized as the State Star Farmer.
Dickerson’s SAE was in Beef Production Entrepreneurship. During his SAE experience, he learned new methods and technologies to improve his farm and cattle herd. Dickerson has been able to expand his herd and been actively involved in the selection and breeding process of his cattle. He has also been able to add a new breed of cattle, Red Angus, to his herd.
After high school, Dickerson plans to attend Butler County Community College then transfer to K-State to pursue a degree in agribusiness. He wants to return to own and operate his own cattle operation after graduation from college.
He is the son of David and Stephanie Dickerson. His FFA chapter advisor is Jeremy Long.
Dickerson was the district winner in the Northwest District. The other district finalists for the state Star Farmer honor were:
- East-central District: Robert Phillips, Mission Valley
- North-central District: Rylie Volkman, Abilene
- Northeast District: Emily Albright, Royal Valley
- Southeast District: Ashley Chandler, Neodesha
- Southwest District: Emma McClure, Hugoton
Star in Agribusiness
Burlington FFA member Kylar Lee was recognized as the State Star in Agribusiness.
Lee’s SAE was in Sheep Production Entrepreneurship. He has not only raised sheep but expanded his herd over the last four years. Currently, his herd consists of 65 head of both black face and white face cross sheep. Lee travels across the country searching for the best genetics to use in his herd. He then raises the sheep and sells them for others to show.
Lee’s business, KWL Showstock, does not stop once he has sold an animal. He ensures that services are provided to his customers long after they have purchased a show animal from him. Lee provides services of show management and preparation to ensure his clients get the support they need when exhibiting the animals they purchased from him.
He is the son of Carl Lee and Kristen Varner. His chapter advisor is Julie Carden.
Star in Ag Placement
Coffeyville FFA member Emily Swiger was recognized as the State Star in Ag Placement.
Swiger’s SAE was in Placement in Agribusiness. She works at Frazee Veterinary Consulting in Coffeyville, Okla. Her job includes preparing animals for surgery and caring for them afterwards. She assists with clinical paperwork and is responsible for sterilizing surgical tools.
Along with her basic clinical duties, Swiger also vaccinates, tags, palpates, performs semen checks and fills out records on all cattle.
She is the daughter of Brian and Carol Swiger. Her FFA chapter advisor is Catherine Stallbories.
The district star winners who were finalists for the state Star in Ag Placement honor were:
- South-central District: Cole Coggins, South Barber
- Northeast District: Kortnee VanDonge, Holton
- East-central District: Hunter McCurdy, West Franklin
- Southwest District: Hallie Wettstein, Hugoton