INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, Aug. 28, 2015/National FFA Organization) – Growing up on a family farm, Eric Coddington of Montello, Wis., developed a strong interest in crop production, particularly raising corn. As he grew older, he began working on certifications and more on the farm. As he gained experience, he realized that his main interest revolved around raising and harvesting crops.
This interest and experience has resulted in Coddington being named a 2015 finalist for the American Star in Agricultural Placement award, one of the most prestigious honors awarded to a student by the National FFA Organization.
Urged by his father, Coddington began studying corn production. Soon he was working on test plots and researching. Today, the 21 year old is studying agronomy and agribusiness at Iowa State University in addition to working alongside his father at Peppermill Farms, where they raise 1,400 acres of corn, 500 acres of alfalfa, 300 acres of soybeans and 50 head of Angus beef cattle.
Coddington credits his involvement in FFA as well as the education he has received from his father, teachers and professors in helping to develop his understanding of agronomic and business principles necessary for crop production management at Peppermill Farms.
Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, four FFA members are honored with an American Star Award for outstanding accomplishments in FFA and agricultural education.
The American Star Awards, including the American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience, are awarded to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of a supervised agricultural experience program. A required activity in FFA, an SAE allows students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.
Other requirements to achieve the award include demonstrating top management skills; completing key agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements; and earning an American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest level of student accomplishment.
Sixteen American Star Award finalists from throughout the U.S. are nominated by a panel of judges to interview during the national convention and expo. Four are named winners and receive cash awards totaling $4,000. All American Star finalists receive a $2,000 cash award. The American Star Awards are sponsored by ADM Crop Risk Services, Case IH, Elanco, Farm Credit and Syngenta as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
Judging will occur in Louisville, Ky., during the 88th National FFA Convention & Expo, Oct. 28-31, with the winner being announced during an onstage ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 29.
Coddington is the son of Brian and Mary Coddington. He is a member of the Montello FFA Chapter, which is led by advisor Hannah Wolsdorf.
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 610,240 student members who belong to one of 7,665 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
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About National FFA Organization The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 629,367 student members as part of 7,757 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at
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About National FFA Foundation
The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees comprised of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA alumni, the foundation is a separately-registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of every dollar received by the foundation supports FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit