INDIANAPOLIS – FFA members from North Dakota and South Dakota are among 16 finalists for the organization's 2020 top achievement awards.

The National FFA Organization released finalists for the American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience awards.

Cole Ketterling, of Wishek, N.D., is a finalist for American Star Farmer. Cole James Schock, of Salem, S.D., is a finalist for American Star in Agricultural Placemet.

The American Star Awards represent the best of the best among thousands of American FFA Degree recipients. The award recognizes FFA members who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through the completion of a supervised agricultural experience program. A required activity in FFA, an SAE allows members to learn by doing. Members can own and operate an agricultural business, intern at an agricultural business or conduct an agriculture-based scientific experiment and report the 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.

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A panel of judges will interview the finalists and select one winner from each award category for the 93rd National FFA Convention & Expo, which will be held virtually this fall. The four winners will be announced during the convention.

Case IH, Elanco Animal Health and Syngenta sponsor the American FFA Degree recognition program.

Here is the complete list of finalists:

American Star Farmer

Cole Ketterling of Wishek, N.D.

Nole Gerfen of Marion, Ohio

JaLeigh Reneé Oldenburg of Mulhall, Okla.

Mikara Anderson of Three Springs, Penn.

American Star in Agribusiness

William Kellum of Jefferson, Ga.

Ely Matthew Boulds of Eldorado, Ill.

Hannah York of Fredonia, Ky.

Blake Kirchhoff of Hardy, Neb.

American Star in Agriscience

Lauren Roberts of Trenton, Fla.

Maddie Sue Fugate of Mahomet, Ill.

Nicole Stevens of Yukon, Okla.

Jacob Bagby of Stephenville, Texas

American Star in Agricultural Placement

Ryan Adelbert Stewart of Washington, Kan.

Will Shelby of Madill, Okla.

Cole James Schock of Salem, S.D.

Wilson Nugent of Gilmer, Texas

Visit for more information about the American Star Awards.