SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Finalists for the Star in Agribusiness honor will be introduced during the Illinois FFA State Convention, June 11-13.
The top five members in the state include the following students:
FFA Adviser: Scott Nordstrom
Parents: Jeff and Marilyn McClure
SAE Project: Codee McClure owns Leash & Halter, which offers dog and cat boarding, in-home pet care and farm chores. She also breeds and sells purebred Labrador dogs.
The District 1 Star in Agribusiness has increased her business to include a client base of over 50 people since starting in 2017. Her experiences have taught her how to turn a passion into a successful business enterprise.
FFA Advisers: Kent Weber and Jeff Maierhofer
Parents: Jamie and Becky Thomas
SAE Project: The District 2 Star in Agribusiness operates his business through a website that he designed. Named Canopy Joe, the business sells potted trees that the FFA member purchases from Oregon.
The Seneca FFA member donates a tree that is planted in a National Forest for every tree that he sells. As a result, Thomas has sold over 200 trees.
FFA Adviser: Monty Elvidge
Parents: Jeremy and Mary Jo Welsh
SAE Project: For his FFA project, Levi Welsh operates a mowing business where he provides services for three communities. Welsh has worked over 850 hours to mow lawns for customers.
The District 3 Star in Agribusiness plans to attend Western Illinois University, and he said his FFA project has taught him accounting, customer service and mechanical skills.
FFA Advisers: Cassie Crouch and Beth Ruwe
Parents: Nicholas and Selina Finck
SAE Project: In 2015, Braylee Finck started her floral business, Petals and Blooms. The Maroa-Forsyth FFA member has learned how to use different colors, shapes and sizes of flowers to design unique arrangements for various events.
Finck designs flower arrangements for weddings and funerals, as well as high school events such as prom and homecoming.
FFA Advisers: Jennifer Timm and Todd Burroughs
Parents: Harlan Allison and Tia and Bobby Witter
SAE Project: The District 5 Star in Agribusiness owns and operates Allison Mowing. Joey Allison maintains 17 lawns on a weekly basis.
The Cisne FFA member started his lawn mowing business when he was 9 years old with his brother, Zack. The money he has earned from his business has allowed him to pay for his associate’s degree while in high school.