The Stars Over Wisconsin awards recognize FFA members who are receiving their State FFA Degree and have conducted exemplary Supervised Agricultural Experience programs. Many students apply for the honor but only the top 10 individuals are recognized in each area. Individuals are selected as the first place recipients in the areas of Star Farmer, Star in Agricultural Placement, Star in Agribusiness and Star in Agriscience.
Caleb Hamm of the Waupaca FFA Chapter was named Wisconsin’s 2016 Star Farmer. The Star Farmer award goes to a student who owns and operates an enterprise in production agriculture. Hamm’s diversified livestock project began with the encouragement and assistance from family members. He has grown the scope of his farming enterprise over time to include dairy cattle, hogs, poultry and a flock of sheep. Not only does he manage his own livestock, he also works on a local dairy farm. This has provided more hands-on experience in an area Hamm is passionate about. Hamm plans to build on the knowledge and expertise he has gained through his projects by attending college and majoring in dairy science.
Trent Dado of the Amery FFA Chapter was recognized as the 2016 Wisconsin Star in Agricultural Placement. The award is for students who work for a business in agriculture. With an eye toward animal nutrition and agronomy, Dado has grown his skills through hands on experience as an employee on his families’ 450-cow registered Holstein dairy farm. He holds the title of assistant herd manager and plays a role in all parts of the operation from handling the farm’s vaccination program to maintaining machinery. Dado is attending University of Minnesota where he will be earning a degree that will allow him to work in the dairy industry.
Michael Geissinger of the Stratford FFA Chapter was honored as the 2016 Wisconsin Star in Agribusiness. Students who have taken on the role of owning and operating a business are eligible to receive this honor. Geissinger owns and operates Geissinger Maple Products LLC, where he produces maple syrup and concentrated maple sap. Making investments in equipment has helped him increase production volume and sales. He sells maple syrup as far away as California and Texas. Geissinger plans to attend Iowa State University to study agronomy.
Faith Carpenter of the Big Foot FFA Chapter is the 2016 Wisconsin Star in Agriscience. Students who are eligible for the award develop their own science experiments, conduct research and evaluate results using scientific data and technology. Through a series of projects, Carpenter was able to gather data on nutritional supplements for chicken feed, hydroponic tomatoes, nutrient values of livestock bedding waste, and the effect of sunscreen on coral reproduction. Carpenter will be attending Madison Area Technical College to take part in the biotechnology lab technician program.
Also named at the State FFA Convention was the National Chapter Award recipient. The Waupaca FFA Chapter received the honor based on their student, chapter, and community development story. Waupaca FFA Chapter advisors are Jenifer Erb and Rene Lehman.
Giebel lives in Baraboo.