Kentucky student named 2012 Star Farmer finalist by National FFA Organization

INDIANAPOLIS (September, 2012/National FFA Organization) - Without question, Alex Richardson has production agriculture in his blood. A seventh-generation family farmer, Richardson has known for years that he wants to pursue a career in production agriculture. As his farming operation has grown, so too has Richardson’s passion for agriculture, and he looks forward to what the future has in store for him on the family’s northern Kentucky farm.

The National FFA Organization has named this 21-year-old Brandenburg, Ky., resident a 2012 American Star Farmer finalist, one of the organization’s highest honors. He will compete with three other finalists at the 85th National FFA Convention & Expo, Oct. 24 - 27, in Indianapolis.

Each year at the national convention and expo, 16 national finalists – four in each category – vie for the organization’s top awards: American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience. These awards honor students who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through their supervised agricultural experience; demonstrated outstanding management skills; earned the American FFA Degree – the organization’s highest level of accomplishment; and met other agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements. Each finalist will be interviewed by a panel of judges, who will ultimately name the top candidate in each area. The winner will be announced in an onstage ceremony and will receive a plaque and an award of $4,000. The runners-up will also receive a plaque and $2,000 each.

Richardson has a diversified crop farm, raising corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and fescue, and he also maintains a herd of Angus cattle. Richardson made his first land purchase at age 19, and he currently owns 127 acres. Richardson hopes to eventually farm more than two thousand acres and have up to 200 cows.

Richardson attends Western Kentucky University and majors in agriculture with minors in business administration and finance. He also plans to pursue a master’s degree in agriculture economics. Richardson was a member of Meade County FFA in Brandenburg, Ky. His advisors were Josh Mitcham and Noel Hobbs. Richardson was a Kentucky Governor’s Scholar in 2008. He is the son of Homer Lee and Kaye Richardson.

The American FFA Degree recognition programs, such as the American Star Awards, are co-sponsored by Alltech Inc.; Case IH; Elanco; Farm Credit; Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont Business; and Syngenta as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.