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Illinois FFA awards four state stars during annual convention

The Stars Over Illinois were recognized during the 93rd Illinois State FFA Convention.

“It means the world to me.”
“It’s crazy.  I thought I wasn’t going to get it.”
“It means the world.”
“I still don’t believe it.”

Those reactions were expressed on stage in front of a sea of fellow FFA members Tuesday.

Toby Winans of Taylorville was named the 2021 Star in Agribusiness for his work with technology and agronomy.  “I used drones to scout fields and to find problems throughout the field or area,” he says.  “My dad got me hooked on this the very first time he taught me how to fly a drone.”

AUDIO: Toby Winans, Taylorville FFA

Tyler Gerdes of the Central at Breese FFA Chapter is the Star in Ag Placement for his work on a local dairy farm.   “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is responsibility and time management – because this job has taught me a lot,” he says.   

AUDIO: Tyler Gerdes, Central at Breese FFA Chapter

Delana Erbsen of the Eastland FFA Chapter is the Star in Agriscience. Her experiments helped her walk in her dad’s shoes.  “I’ve watched him since I was very little,” she says.  “And I haven’t really understood why he did the work on the farm that he did and with all these experiments I was able to better understand why he does and that his hard work pays off in the end.”

AUDIO: Delana Erbsen, Eastland FFA Chapter

Shana Lueking of the Christ Our Rock FFA Chapter is the State Star Farmer recognized for her 40 head dairy herd project, where she learned that hard work pays off. “It took me 4 years to get to this moment, and it was a lot of work,” she says.  “But it was definitely worth it.”

AUDIO: Shana Lueking, Christ Our Rock FFA Chapter

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