The highest honor a member can achieve, the American Star Awards are presented to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through the completion of a supervised agricultural experience (SAE). A required activity in FFA, an SAE allows students to learn by doing – from owning or operating a lawn care business to conducting an experiment that examines alternative methods for antibiotics. We asked the 2017 crop of Star winners for their advice on creating and maintaining a successful SAE.
“You have to make sure you’re passionate about it. It can’t be viewed as just work or it won’t work out for you.” – Joseph Arnold, Lac qui Parle Valley FFA, Minn., 2017 American Star Farmer
“Do not be afraid to try something different. Don’t be afraid to stand out, even though it may be a little uncomfortable at the time. Always stay committed to what you believe in, stay organized and, most importantly, stay passionate about what you are working on.” – Chrysta Beck, Pettisville FFA, Ohio, 2017 American Star in Agriscience
“Make sure you provide customer service and that your customers are happy with the job you’re providing. Without customer service, you don’t have any kind of base for employment or sales.” – Austin Nordyke, Hugoton FFA, Kan., 2017 American Star in Agribusiness
“Find something you love so you’re passionate about it and it’s easy to stick with.” – Kellie Einck, South O’Brien FFA, Iowa, 2017 American Star in Agricultural Placement