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Indiana FFA recognizes state Star winners

Meet the Stars Over Indiana winners honored for their dedication to agricultural projects.

Allison Lund, Indiana Prairie Farmer Senior Editor

June 20, 2024

3 Min Read
Indiana FFA officer Carson Rudd (left) presents the Star in Agriscience award to Blaine Wagner
HELPING FARMERS: Blaine Wagner, North Decatur FFA, wants to make it easier for farmers to understand which carbon sequestration methods work best. Indiana FFA officer Carson Rudd (left) presents the Star in Agriscience award to Wagner. His advisors are Katie Stokes and Alaina Kessler. Photos by Allison Lund

As the fourth General Session of the Indiana FFA Convention neared its end Thursday evening, FFA members had the chance to go “stargazing,” as Indiana FFA state officers Caden Sixberry and Carson Rudd explained.

Rather, they were introduced to this year’s Stars Over Indiana state finalists and winners. These individuals are recognized for their dedication to agricultural jobs, businesses and projects. Categories include Star in Agriscience, Star Farmer, Star in Agribusiness and Star in Agricultural Placement. The finalists all completed applications, worked through an interview process and welcomed a site visit prior to the announcement of winners.

These members have spent many hours working on their projects, expanding their knowledge, improving their skills and sharing what they’ve learned with others. The winners will receive a $250 scholarship on behalf of the Jeff Lehman Family. Here are the winners:

Star in Agriscience. In addition to serving as the southern region vice president this year for Indiana FFA, Blaine Wagner of the North Decatur FFA chapter is this year’s Star in Agriscience. His most recent project focuses on studying the multiple methods of carbon sequestration. He wants to help farmers understand which practices are most effective at capturing carbon in this uncharted territory. Wagner’s parents are Cody and Holly Wagner.

Star Farmer. Hailing from the North Miami FFA chapter, Owen Night won the title of Star Farmer. Having grown up on a farm, Night always knew he wanted to raise his own livestock. He began purchasing young Holstein calves and raising them up to about 500 pounds before selling them to a finisher. Night strives to keep expanding his knowledge and skills to produce a high-quality product. His parents are Michael and Cori Night.

Owen Night pictured with North Miami FFA Advisor Jim Wildermuth

Star in Agribusiness. Fixing things is Grant Lake’s specialty. Hailing from the Central Noble FFA chapter, Lake kick-started his own tractor repair business after he tried his hand at restoring a tractor with his dad and brother. He enjoys fixing up old farm tractors, and his work quickly gained attention and catapulted his business. Whether it’s in his shop or on the go, Lake can do it all — from simple maintenance to complete engine rebuilds. Lake’s parents are Chris and Sara Lake.

Grant Lake pictured with Central Noble FFA Advisor Jamie Earnhart

Star in Agricultural Placement. Josie Kelsay of the Whiteland FFA chapter is following in her family’s footsteps of educating visitors to their farm about agriculture. Thousands of people pass through Kelsay Farms each year, and Kelsay works to prepare for seasonal tours and care for the livestock on display. Teaching others about modern agriculture is Kelsay’s passion, as she plans to pursue a career as an ag teacher someday. Her parents are Joe and Amy Kelsay.

Katie Ott, Josie Kelsay and Hannah Goeb

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About the Author(s)

Allison Lund

Indiana Prairie Farmer Senior Editor, Farm Progress

Allison Lund worked as a staff writer for Indiana Prairie Farmer before becoming editor in 2024. She graduated from Purdue University with a major in agricultural communications and a minor in crop science. She served as president of Purdue’s Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter. In 2022, she received the American FFA Degree. 

Lund grew up on a cash grain farm in south-central Wisconsin, where the primary crops were corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Her family also raised chewing tobacco and Hereford cattle. She spent most of her time helping with the tobacco crop in the summer and raising Boer goats for FFA projects. She lives near Winamac, Ind.

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