Four area students claimed top honors at the 92nd annual South Dakota FFA Convention earlier this week.

The convention was held virtually May 12-14 due to the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the first virtual convention in South Dakota FFA history.

The State Star winners included:

  • State Star Farmer: Landon Wolter, Wessington Springs

Wessington Springs High School student Landon Wolter. (Courtesy photo)
Wessington Springs High School student Landon Wolter. (Courtesy photo)

  • State Star in Agribusiness: Aidan Friesen, Menno

Menno High School student Aidan Friesen. (South Dakota FFA photo)
Menno High School student Aidan Friesen. (South Dakota FFA photo)

  • State Star in Ag Placement: Logan Schlim, Howard

Howard High School student Logan Schlim. (South Dakota FFA photo)
Howard High School student Logan Schlim. (South Dakota FFA photo)

  • State Star in Agriscience: Hadley Stiefvater, McCook Central

Hadley Stiefvater is a senior at McCook Central High School and the president of the school's FFA chapter, which will soon host the FFA's inaugural virtual Career Development Event, or CDE, competition in South Dakota. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Hadley Stiefvater is a senior at McCook Central High School and the president of the school's FFA chapter, which will soon host the FFA's inaugural virtual Career Development Event, or CDE, competition in South Dakota. (Matt Gade / Republic)

These individuals spent countless hours working on their projects and enhancing their potential for future jobs by gaining hands-on experience and developing technical skills. After a review of the students' supervised agricultural experience program and records, finalists were selected in each category prior to state convention. The finalists in each category included:

  • Star Farmer: Wolter; Trevor Johnson, Beresford; Liberty Thompson, Brookings; and Riley Larson, Wessington Springs.

  • Star in Agribusiness: Friesen; and Hunter Eide, Gettysburg.

  • Star in Ag Placement: Schlim; Johnson; Wolter; and Collin Kolbeck, McCook Central.

  • Star in Agriscience: Stiefvater; Eide; Brook Geiken, Lennox; and Danika Gordon, Sturgis.

The finalists interviewed in front of a panel and the most outstanding were selected to be the Star Farmer, Star in Agribusiness, Star in Ag Placement and Star in Agriscience. Each State Star will receive a $300 cash award and the finalists each receive $75.

The following students were recognized as District Star Greenhands as sophomores who were recognized for an outstanding start to their Supervised Agriculture Experience project as being top in each of their FFA districts.

The winners include: District 1: Korbin Leddy, Milbank; District 2: John Callies, Howard; District 3: Jason Ebeling, Parker; District 4: Ella Stiefvater, McCook Central; District 5: Megan Sanders, Hot Springs; District 6: Alana Howard, Miller; and District 7: Andrew Rick, West Central.

State FFA Degrees

The following area students were awarded State FFA Degrees, which is the highest degree conferred by South Dakota FFA:

  • Bridgewater-Emery: Jasmine Tschetter and Lindsey Weeldreyer.

  • Bon Homme: Riley Hellmann, Ciera Himes, Kayli Jelsma, ReAnna Kotalik, Kaden Kozak and Nate Scieszinski.

  • Chamberlain: Alaina Bairey.

  • Howard: Robert Jackson, Logan Schlim and Colton Spader.

  • Kimball: Jessica Kott.

  • Menno: Aidan Friesen, Avery Handel, Grant Handel and Sydney Simon

  • Mitchell: Cody Hagemeyer and Andrew Herrlein

  • McCook Central: Emily Bies, Jacob Cheeseman, Christy Eich, Blake Gessner, Alexis Jimenez, Casey Knudsen, Collin Kolbeck, Rachel Krier, Isaac McCormick, Sami Moller, Emma Norris, Faith Oyen, Jacy Pulse, Raygen Randall, Colin Reif, Katie Reif, Jayden Reif, Aleah Ries, Parker Scheier, Matt Schock, Hadley Stiefvater, Sarah Wegener, AnnMarie Whaler, Katelyn Winberg, Jayden Wolf and Abby Wurtz.

  • Montrose: Mary Katherine Hoiten and Kayla McAreavey.

  • Parkston: Sutton Hohn and Madison Stadlman.

  • Platte-Geddes: Danae Hunt, Alayah Nachtigal, Torri Qualm, Tess Ringling, Landon Schulte, Kade Starr, Raegan Stegmeier and Weston VanderPol.

  • Sanborn Central/Woonsocket: Samantha Dean, Carter Linke, Megan Linke, Katie Schmit, Josie Weber and Aiden Wormstadt.

  • Scotland: Micah DeBoer.

  • Wessington Springs: Montague Azure, Makayla Dornbusch, Riley Hines, Riley Larson, Chloe Munsen, Seth Tebay, Ty VonEye and Landon Wolter.

  • Winner: Jalen King, Ryder Mortenson and Heather Rowe.