Late May normally brings a sea of blue and gold jackets to the campus of Kansas State University as FFA chapters from all across the state convene to bestow honors, elect new leaders and share ideas, enthusiasm and camaraderie during the annual State FFA Convention. This year, the 92nd Kansas FFA Convention, held May 27-29, was virtual thanks to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
Among the top honors are the State Star Farmer, Star in Ag Placement and Star in Agribusiness awards. Each year, the Kansas FFA Association recognizes three FFA members who have the top supervised agricultural experience programs. The State Star competitions are sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, United Bank and Trust and the Kansas Farm Bureau.
Iola FFA member Levi Meiwes was recognized as the State Star Farmer.
Levi’s SAE is in poultry production. During his SAE experience, he expanded and grew his poultry operation to become officially licensed as Meiwes Poultry Farm.
Levi has gained valuable knowledge related to successful poultry production, including research on proper nutrition, design of ideal watering systems and breed selection.
Levi is the son of Paul and Becky Meiwes. His FFA chapter advisor is Amanda Strickler.
State Star in Ag Placement
Washington County FFA member Tyler Nelson was recognized as the State Star in Ag Placement.
Tyler’s SAE is in agricultural mechanics design and fabrication. He works at Prairie Road Iron in Linn. His job includes welding to fabricate custom bumpers for trucks and skid loader attachments.
Tyler also designs and builds panels and gates for local farmers. He has taken his skills to learn how to read blueprints for custom projects.
Nelson is the son of Craig and Darcy Nelson. His FFA chapter advisor is John Kern.
State Star in Agribusiness
FFA member Austin Simon was recognized as the State Star in Agribusiness.
Austin’s SAE is in agricultural mechanics design and fabrication. He has been selling chicken coops to local farm and home stores, in addition to adding a hay hauling venture to his resume.
Austin offers two sizes of chicken coops and builds custom coops as well. He had 35 chicken coop projects in 2019 and hauled 2,550 bales of hay.
Austin is the son of Kurt and Jennifer Simon. His FFA chapter advisors are Cheyenne Holliday and Cody Holliday.