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State Star Award Winners and Finalists

94th KS FFA Convention Holton Royal Valley Yates Center

Each year, the Kansas FFA Association recognizes three FFA members who have the top Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) programs with the Star Farmer, Star in Agribusiness, and Star in Ag Placement awards. The Star competitions are sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, United Bank and Trust, and Kansas Farm Bureau.

Holton FFA member Katina Bartel was recognized as the State Star in Ag Placement, one of the association’s top honors. Katina is the daughter of Alex and Sheri Bartel. Her FFA chapter advisors are Jason Larison and Alex Bartel.

Bartel’s SAE is in Veterinary Science. She worked as a Kennel Technician at Banner Creek Animal Hospital (BCAH) in Holton, Kansas. They are a mixed small and large animal practice. Her placement history began at Holton Greenhouse watering and pruning the different plants. When they closed for the season, she applied at BCAH in May of 2019 and now works an average of 12-15 hours a week. In addition, with these scheduled hours, she is on-call overnight and on weekends to provide services to hospitalized and boarded animals. She also makes sure facilities are clean and prepared for the veterinarians. She assists in surgeries by handing the doctors needed tools and supplies plus being present to help. I perform a variety of procedures such as administering medications and vaccines, grooming, trimming nails, holding animals for lab draws, and monitoring animals. After graduation, Bartel plans to attend Kansas State University and major in agricultural education. 

Bartel was the district winner in the Northeast District. The district star winners who were finalists for the state Star in Ag Placement honor were: South Central District: Brady Fowler, Fairfield; North Central District: Keegan Craig, Chapman; East Central District: Colbey Hinck, Mission Valley; Southwest District: Andrew Endicott, Ashland; Northwest District: Kirsten Kyger, Holton.

Yates Center FFA member Aidan Yoho was recognized as the State Star Farmer, one of the association’s top honors. Aidan is the son of Quentin and Hollie Yoho. His FFA chapter advisor is Shiela Proper.

Yoho’s SAE is in Beef Production- Entrepreneurship and Forage Production. During his SAE experience, he started a cattle backgrounding operation where he purchases lightweight cattle and feeds them to 750-800 pounds. After they reach the desired weight, they are then sold at the local sale barn where they will go to a feedlot. His daily routine is to feed them, check water and check the health of the calves. He also runs a forage production operation specializing in prairie hay for his second SAE. He got his start on his own hay operation by renting acreage from his grandpa and uncle. He mows, rakes, bales, hauls and markets the hay. After high school, Yoho plans to attend Allen Community College. From there,  Yoho plans to attend Kansas State University and major in food science, with a minor in meat science.

Yoho was the district winner in the Southeast District. The other district finalists for the state Star Farmer honor were: East Central District: Lauren Aust, Prairie View; North Central District: Kori Miller, Washington County; Northeast District: Maci Behrnes, Atchison County; South Central District: Tanner Stuchlik, Centre; and Southwest District: Grace Dillinger, Hugoton.

Royal Valley FFA member Karlie Albright was recognized as the State Star in Agribusiness, one of the association’s top honors. Karlie is the daughter of Scott and Barbara Albright. Her chapter advisor is Kim Clark.

Albright’s SAE is in Diversified Agricultural Production. Her SAE includes growing a vegetable garden, working on her family’s cattle and crop farm, having her own small cattle herd and growing market beef and swine each summer. She managed all basic needs of the garden like planting seeds, watering and weeding. When it was time to harvest the produce she would collect and sell it at the produce stand that she set up in the Dollar General parking lot. She got involved in the other parts of her SAE by growing up on a farm involved with crop and cattle production. She helps her dad on the farm throughout the year doing a variety of things. Albright also raises one market pig per summer for the local county fair. After graduation, Albright plans to attend Kansas State University and major in agricultural education.