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2013 American Star Farmer: Tyler Loschen

Star student from Tri-Point High School Tyler Loschen’s father is a former agriculture teacher and his mother was his agriculture teacher and FFA advisor in high school. So naturally, he believes that he was predestined to be a part of FFA. The Illinois FFA member always had a strong desire to farm, developed no doubt from early days of playing with farm toys as a young child to spending summertime weeks with two sets of grandparents that farmed as a youth. But since his parents didn’t farm, he knew that if he wanted to follow his dream, he’d have to carve his own path. As a middle-school student, he studied livestock and became very involved in livestock judging. After joining FFA his freshman year, Loschen began a supervised agriculture experience in corn and soybean production. He eventually achieved one of his long-term goals by buying 40 acres of farmland. Since, he has bought a combine, tractor, planter and other equipment needed to produce and harvest crops. He has made tough financial and management decisions along the way as he grows his farm’s profitability and works to minimize financial risk. “I feel very fortunate that my experiences in FFA have laid the foundation for my future,” Loschen said. “I’ve faced the late, wet fall of 2009 and the drought of 2012. I’ve experienced the challenges of high feed prices and herd health issues and I have persevered. It is the result of these challenges that drive my passion for production agriculture while providing food for an ever-growing population.” Tyler Loschen was honored Saturday 10/2/13 with the prestigious FFA American Star Farmer award. Loschen was a 2013 finalist for an American Star Farmer award from the National FFA Organization. Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, four FFA members are honored with an American Star award for outstanding accomplishments in FFA and agricultural education. The award is the most prestigious honor awarded to a student by the National FFA Organization. The American Star awards – including the American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience – are awarded to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of a supervised agricultural experience. A required activity in FFA, a supervised agriculture experience allows students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting 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. Sixteen American Star award finalists from throughout the U.S. are nominated for a panel of judges to interview during convention. Four are named winners and receive cash awards totaling $4,000. All American Star finalists receive a $2,000 cash award. The Stars Over America are sponsored by ADM Crop Risk Services; CASE IH; DuPont Pioneer; Elanco; Farm Credit and Syngenta as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Loschen, 21, a member of the Tri-Point High School FFA chapter in Cullom, Ill., has earned a host of state and national FFA awards, including Star Farmer of Illinois, national proficiency awards in diversified agriculture, diversified crop production and chapter Greenhand and Workhorse awards. He served as president, vice president and Greenhand president of his local FFA chapter. He is the son of Gary and Diana Loschen, who is his FFA chapter advisor. # # # About National FFA Organization The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members as part of 7,498 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at www.FFA.org, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog. 94.1 FM, WGFA