Four State Star awards were given to the respective winners during the 92nd Minnesota FFA Convention held virtually April 19-22.
Daniel Jossund from Ada-Borup High School received the State Star Farmer. Kallie Frericks from Albany High School received the State Star in Production Placement. Braden Greibrok with the Austin FFA Chapter received the State Star in Agriscience. McKenzie Henning with Jackson County Central FFA received the State Star in Agribusiness.
The 2021 Stars Over Minnesota awards, sponsored by Compeer Financial Services, were announced during surprise visits from Minnesota FFA state officers to the honorees’ schools, and were live-streamed to convention participants across the state.
Jossund earned the Star Farmer recognition through his FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) in plant systems with Jossund Bailing and Daniel Jossund Hay & Grain, and through agribusiness systems with J&L Jossund Farms.
Jossund said his SAE taught him how to make connections, manage finances and direct employees. He has served as the Ada-Borup FFA president and participated in Conduct of Chapter meetings and the Agricultural Technology & Mechanical Systems Career and Leadership Development events. His parents are John and Lorraine Jossund.
Other finalists for the award were Jenna Caughey, Brainerd FFA; Anna Ridenour, Triton FFA; and Aly Dieball, Sibley East FFA.
Star Production Placement
Frericks earned the recognition through her SAE at Strawberries Galore & More, a U-pick business owned by her parents, Steve and Tammy Frericks. She has also been employed at Groetsch Dairy and Blue Diamond Dairy, and in her family’s crop enterprise.
STAR PRODUCTION PLACEMENT: Kallie Frericks (center, holding plaques) from Albany High School received the 2021 Minnesota FFA State Star in Production Placement award. Frericks is shown with the Minnesota FFA state officer team that made the presentation in person.
Frericks noted that time management, work ethic, consumer communication and working independently were key learnings from her various roles within agriculture. She is Albany FFA vice president and has participated in the Dairy Evaluation Career Development event along with Creed Speaking and Parliamentary Procedure Leadership Development events. She was the 2020 National FFA Fruit Production Proficiency winner.
Other finalists for the award were Wyatt Jenson, Edgerton FFA Chapter; Mikayla Thorson, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted FFA Chapter; and Elizabeth Thome, Southland FFA Chapter.
Star in Agriscience
Greibrok said he improved his farm management, agronomy knowledge and precision technology skills through his corn hybrid research as part of his FFA SAE. After planting two common corn hybrids, Greibrok evaluated the differences in grain yield and profitability after harvest. He took on many roles during his research. He was the seed buyer, equipment operator and information analyst.
STAR IN AGRISCIENCE: Braden Greibrok (center, holding plaques) with the Austin FFA Chapter received the 2021 Minnesota FFA State Star in Agriscience award. Greibrok is shown with the Minnesota FFA state officer team that made the presentation in person.
Greibrok is the Austin FFA Chapter vice president. He has participated in local FFA activities in the Austin community and competed in the Agricultural Mechanics Career Development event and the Parliamentary Procedure Leadership Development event. He is the son of Laurie and Allan Greibrok.
Other finalists for the award were Samuel Sauber, Staples-Motley FFA; Brooke Anderson, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg FFA; and Andy Krohnberg, United South Central FFA.
Star in Agribusiness
Henning is Jackson County Central’s FFA president, and she competed in FFA Leadership Development and Career Development Experiences including Creed Speaking, Discussion Meet and Parliamentary Procedure. Her Crops team competed at the National FFA Convention in 2019, and she was recognized by the University of Minnesota with the Norman Borlaug award.
STAR IN AGRIBUSINESS: McKenzie Henning (center, holding plaques) with Jackson County Central FFA received the 2021 Minnesota FFA State Star in Agribusiness award. Henning is shown with the Minnesota FFA state officer team that made the presentation in person.
Henning’s SAE was as an employee of SureFlex Hybrids, an independent seed corn business in Jackson, Minn. Her role there influenced her decision to pursue a career in plant genetics through a biotechnology and agricultural science major at South Dakota State University. She is the daughter of Brad and Ann Henning.
Other state finalists for the award were Selena Corona, Albany FFA Chapter; Eric Gunderson, Grand Rapids FFA Chapter; and Jacob Ross, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted FFA Chapter.
Other awards and activities
Minnesota State FFA Convention included these additional awards and activities:
• Honors for the top 10 FFA chapters for 2021, each of which earned Superior Chapter awards. Eden Valley-Watkins FFA was named 2021’s Premier Chapter. Others among the top 10 FFA chapters were the Academy for Sciences and Agriculture, Chatfield, Forest Lake, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, Princeton, Randolph, Redwood Valley, Sleepy Eye and Staples-Motley.
Crookston FFA, Frazee-Vergas FFA and Mora FFA also earned Superior Chapter awards. Gold awards were earned by Dassel-Cokato FFA, Thief River Falls FFA and Tracy Area FFA.
• From across the state, 264 agricultural education students were awarded the State FFA Degree during the first day of the convention. The State FFA Degree is given to the top members of a State FFA Association, and nearly 2% of Minnesota FFA members earned this degree. This degree demonstrates the student has put an exceptional amount of time into their SAE, local chapter and community.
• Minnesota FFA chartered nine new FFA chapters this year. They are Bethlehem Academy in Faribault; Cleveland; Crookston; Granada-Huntley-East Chain; Integrated Arts Academy in Chaska; Isle; Park Rapids; and Willow River.
• Eight new FFA Region presidents were elected. They are: Region I, Caidyn Johnson, Fertile-Beltrami High School; Region II, Jacob Anderson, Grand Rapids High School; Region III, Rylee Erickson, Hancock High School; Region IV, McKayla Carlson-Hughes, Braham High School; Region V, Natalie Beckendorf, Renville County West High School; Region VI, Marissa Johnson, of Tracy Area High School; Region VII, Emma Kuball, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown High School; and Region VIII, Anne Simpson, Pine Island High School.
• Recognition of the 2021 Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame inductees. Those honored were Wes Anderson, Appleton; Dennis Bjorklund, Victoria; Sarah Dornink, St. Paul; Michael Dove, New Ulm; Mary Hoffmann, Sleepy Eye; Donna Moenning, Hayfield; Keith Olander, Staples; Eric Sawatzke, Kensington; and Harmon Wilts, Kerkhoven.
• Minnesota’s 2021-22 state FFA officer team was announced during the last session. They are Emily Matejka, state president, Martin County West FFA; Wyatt Halvorson, state vice president, Thief River Falls FFA; Nicole Koziolek, state secretary, Randolph FFA; Kyle Thomas, state treasurer, Rockford FFA; Anna Ridenour, state reporter, Triton FFA; and Baleigh Peterson, state sentinel, Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthop Pioneer Express FFA.