June 15, 2021

District winners for star award conduct experiments

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — One of the highlights of the annual Illinois FFA Convention is the Stars Over Illinois ceremony when the Star in AgriScience winner is introduced.

These district winners will be honored for their outstanding FFA projects during the convention session on Tuesday, June 8.

Delana Erbsen

Chapter: Eastland

District: 1

FFA Advisers: Cynthia Feltmeyer and Breden Schultz

Parents: Kevin and Wendy Erbsen

SAE Project: Delana Erbsen conducted an experiment for her FFA project that can assist dairymen in their decision-making process for treatment of cows. The purpose of her research study was to see if the growth of gram-positive or gram-negative bacteria has an effect on mastitis cases of dairy cows. Erbsen’s interest in this project comes from living on her family’s dairy farm, Erbacres Holsteins. “Gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria causes mastitis and increases the risk of a cow getting mastitis in the future,” Erbsen said. “If a cow has gram-positive or gram-negative bacteria, the farmer can treat the cow before she calves to prevent future mastitis cases.”

Lanie Woods

Chapter: Tri-Point

District: 2

FFA Advisers: Jenna Baker and Diana Loschen

Parent: Audrey Donley

SAE Project: A research project involving a vegetable garden and a second project with chickens were completed by Lanie Woods. The FFA member grew sweet corn, cucumbers and bush green beans and added different fertilizers to evaluate growth patterns. The fertilizers include a mixture of potash and organic chicken manure, conventional chicken manure and a control area without fertilizer. For the poultry experiment, Woods separated her 18 Buff Orpington chicks into two groups and fed one group conventional feed and the second group organic feed. “I will weigh them daily and this will allow me to see the difference between the feeds to see which feed is better in terms of growth and health,” Woods said.

Christina White

Chapter: Paxton-Buckley-Loda

District: 4

FFA Advisers: Michael White, Aaron Slack and Kristen Wyatt

Parents: Michael White and the late Julie White

SAE Project: For her research project, Christina White worked with the company Eden Park to use the Ultra-Violet Micro-Plasmic Light systems. “I’m doing this study for them to know if their lights help with the growth of vegetables, mainly lettuce,” White said. White used Lactuca sativa seed for her project and planted them in three flats which were exposed to different amounts of UV light. She recorded data every day for the project and took pictures of the plants every five days.

Martha Blum

Field Editor