Each year, the Kansas FFA Association recognizes three FFA members who have the top Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) programs for the Star Farmer, Star in Agribusiness and Star in Ag Placement awards. The 2021 Stars Over Kansas are:
Star Farmer. Valley Heights FFA member Wesley Denton was recognized as the State Star Farmer.
Denton’s SAE is in beef production–entrepreneurship. During his SAE experience, he expanded and grew his beef operation while working at Springhill Herefords. He started his operation at 3 years old, when his grandfather gave him his first heifer. Since then, his herd size has grown to 45 mature cows, along with 25 heifers, steers and bulls. Denton has gained valuable knowledge related to successful beef production, including research on breeding beef cattle as well as haying and row crop operations.
Wesley Denton is the son of John and Angie Denton. His FFA chapter advisor is Drew Obermeyer.
Star in Agricultural Placement. Ellsworth FFA member Nicole Haase was recognized as the State Star in Agricultural Placement.
Courtesy of Nicole HaaseSTAR AG PLACEMENT: Kansas FFA Star in Ag Placement Nicole Haase, from the Ellsworth FFA chapter, learned to work cattle with her father and grandfather through her Supervised Agricultural Experience program.
Haase’s placement SAEs are in grain production and beef production. During her SAE experience, she was employed for two farming and beef production operations owned by her father and grandfather. Between the two operations, Haase worked more than 1,000 hours, with her time spent caring for 500 head of cattle and helping farm over 2,500 acres. Working during weekends, summer and days off from school, Haase has gained experience in servicing and operating machinery on the farms. She’s also learned about beef production firsthand by gathering, sorting, feeding and working cattle. When Haase is not helping with the cattle or busy during the growing and harvest season with the crops, she’s helping with other farm tasks such as fixing fences, checking pastures, changing oil on equipment or taking care of her own livestock.
Nicole Haase is the daughter of Arrin and Kristin Haase. Her FFA chapter advisor is Karl Dawn Hobbs Stover.
Star in Agribusiness. Hugoton FFA member Jay McClure was recognized as the State Star Farmer in Agribusiness.
Courtesy of Jay McClureSTAR AG BUSINESS: Kansas FFA Star in Agribusiness Jay McClure, from the Hugoton FFA chapter, helped to grow and sell bales of hay for McClure Farms. He also acquired skills like maintaining and greasing equipment through his Supervised Agricultural Experience program.
McClure’s SAE is in agricultural services. During his SAE experience, he expanded and grew his forage operation while working on his family farm. McClure has obtained valuable knowledge related to forage production, and has gained experience in operating much of the equipment, such as swathers and steamers. Since beginning his SAE program in 2018, McClure has helped produce and sell more than 5,000 bales of hay annually. It’s gained him more than 4,000 hours of experience in working and operating a forage production business like McClure Farms.
Jay McClure is the son of Joel and Karen McClure. His FFA chapter advisor is Les McNally.