Iowa FFA Prepares for National Convention

Three Iowa FFA members are finalists for highest honors at this year's national convention in Indianapolis.

Two Iowa FFA members, Jessica Tekippe from Manchester and Emma Flemmig from Glidden, will be National Stars Over America Finalists at the 80th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis on October 24-27, 2007.

Tekippe and Flemmig are among 85 Iowa FFA members who will be honored with the highest degree that can be bestowed upon an FFA member, the American FFA Degree. A total of 3,169 FFA members nationwide will be receiving the American FFA Degree or only six-tenths of one percent of all FFA members nationwide.

Tekippe and Flemmig were selected from the entire pool of 3,169 American FFA Degree recipients to be recognized for outstanding achievement in their Supervised Agricultural Experience, or SAE projects and FFA activities. Four students are recognized in each of four areas; Ag Production, Agribusiness, Ag Placement, and Agriscience.

Two are "Stars Over America" finalists

As a high school freshman, Tekippe had a placement program in dairy and beef production at Sun Valley Farms. Tekippe has grown her SAE program to include placement in dairy production, beef production, crop production, ag mechanics and ag communications working over 9,000 hours. Tekippe was the National Dairy Placement Proficiency award winner at the 79th National FFA Convention. Tekippe is currently a senior at Iowa State University majoring in Dairy Science.

As a sophomore, Flemmig established a Botany Agriscience Fair Project as her primary SAE. Flemmig worked with Syngenta Seeds in Glidden to develop her own experiment determining fungal pathogen resistance patterns of genetically modified corn varieties. Since then, Flemmig has spent two summers working in her test plot gaining extensive knowledge about plant genetics, biotechnology, microbiology, record keeping and presenting her scientific findings.

Flemmig was a 2005 World Food Prize Borlaug-Ruan Intern at CIMMYT – The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico. Also, Flemmig was one of eight National FFA Agriscience Student of the Year Finalists in 2004. Flemmig is currently a junior at Iowa State University majoring in Agronomy.

National FFA officer candidate

Jessica Shifflett of the Osceola Big Chief FFA Chapter at Clarke Community Schools in Osceola is Iowa's 2007 National FFA Officer Candidate. Shifflett will participate in a wide variety of interviews during the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis from October 24-27. Six FFA members will be named National FFA Officers at the final session of the convention.

If elected, Shifflett will take a year away from college to travel the U.S. visiting with FFA members, advisors and supporters. National FFA officers also guide the direction of the largest Career and Technical Student Organization in the country. Shifflett served as Iowa FFA Vice President from the South Central District in 2004-05. She is a junior at Iowa State majoring in Ag Education.

Other national finalists for 2007

* Model of Innovation – Chapter Development: North Linn FFA at Troy Mills
* Model of Innovation – Student Development: North Linn FFA at Troy Mills
* Ag Mech Design/Fabrication Proficiency Award: Jay Magnussen, Paullina
* Ag Sales Placement Proficiency Award: Cole Koenig, Marengo
* Diversified Crop Entrepreneurship Proficiency Award: Deborah Zelle, Waverly
* Home/Community Development Proficiency Award: Luke Stein, Van Horne
* Landscape Management Proficiency Award: Andy Jennett, Creston

National career development event teams/individuals

Ag Communications – Montezuma FFA
Ag Issues and Perceptions – Agri-Power FFA at Eddyville
Ag Mechanics – Sioux Center FFA
Ag Sales – Muscatine FFA
Agronomy – Washington FFA
Creed Speaking – Donovan Richardson, Creston FFA
Dairy Cattle – South Winneshiek FFA at Calmar
Dairy Foods – Edgewood-Colesburg FFA at Edgewood
Environmental Science – Charles City FFA
Extemporaneous Speaking – Holden Nyhus, Forest City FFA
Farm Business Management – Montezuma FFA
Floriculture – Tri-Star FFA
Food Science – Wapello FFA
Forestry – North Mahaska FFA at New Sharon
Horse Evaluation – Denison FFA
Job Interview – Janna Shifflett, Osceola Big Chief FFA
Livestock Evaluation – Iowa River FFA at Garner
Marketing Plan – Hudson FFA
Meats Evaluation – Muscatine FFA
Nursery/Landscape – Denison FFA
Parliamentary Procedure – Osage FFA
Public Speaking – Jacob Waddingham, Orient-Macksburg FFA at Orient

The Iowa FFA Association has 228 local chapters with over 12,000 FFA members. FFA is a national organization of more than 500,000 members preparing for leadership and careers in science, business and technology of agriculture with 7,194 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. FFA strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth, and career success through ag education. Visit  or for more information.

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