The Star Awards represent the best of the best among Kansas State FFA Degree recipients. Finalists for the award have mastered skills in production, finance, management and/or research. These members have gone above and beyond in their supervised agricultural experience. All of their supervised agriculture experiences are entrepreneurship in a non-production agriculture area. The state winner will receive a $250 cash award. The sponsor of the State Star in Agribusiness is ICM Inc.
The finalists for the Star in Agribusiness are:
Northeast Star in Agribusiness
Laura Rush, Doniphan West
Rush’s SAE is in Vegetable Production. She sells about 12,000 ears of sweet corn and 20 pints of strawberries at local farmers markets. Rush grows the sweet corn using two acres of her father’s farmland and hand picks the strawberries. Rush’s SAE has taught her the value of hard work and how rewarding it can be to work with customers and hear their positive feedback. Rush is the daughter of Roger and Joyce. Her advisor is Elmer Schmitz.
Southwest Star in Agribusiness
Nicholas Goode, Hugoton
Goode’s SAE is in Turfgrass Management. Goode mows, trims, fertilizes and gives advice to 10-15 customers in his area. Goode first knocked on doors to gain customers. Later, he placed an ad in the local newspaper as well as received many referrals. Goode enjoys the reward of seeing a job well done and satisfying his customers. Goode is the son of Danny and Traci Goode. His advisor is Les McNally.
East Central Star in Agribusiness
Austin Coleman, Jayhawk Linn
Coleman’s SAE is in Turfgrass Management. Coleman, mows, trims, reseeds, fertilizes and provides minor pest control for 13 yards. He employs one part-time employee who helps enable him to mow each yard about once a week in the Spring and once every other week in the Summer depending on how dry it is. Coleman says the most rewarding aspect of his job is driving by and taking pride in his work. Coleman is the son of Steve and Tisha Coleman. His advisor is Bill Johnston.
This year’s State Star in Agribusiness:
State Star in Agribusiness
Bryan Otott, Washington County
Otott’s SAE is in Forage production. Otott successfully manages a custom haying business after going into business with his brother the summer of 2010. With his purchased John Deere tractor and baler, Otott gained clientele by posting fliers and speaking with local business. He expanded his clientele from 18 to 24 farms after borrowing his father’s swather and offering full-service custom hay. As a testament to his success, Otott produced at least 300 more square hay bales each year and baled more than 2,2447 square bales this year all while reducing production time. Otott enjoys managing his own business and has learned to make wise business decisions and communicate effectively with his clients.
Otott is the son of Jeff and Nancy Otott. His advisor is John Kern.