SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
For Immediate Release: July 30, 2010
Media Contact: Nathan Sanderson, 605-773-6211
South Dakota FFA Boasts Three “Stars Over America” Finalists
Pierre, S.D. – Three South Dakota FFA members have qualified for the National FFA Organization’s highest
honor. Dustin Palmquist, Steven Zemlicka and Kyle Zulk are finalists in the Stars Over America program,
which recognizes students who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competency through their
Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) programs.
National Stars Over America finalists are selected on the basis of the quality of their applications for the
American FFA Degree. Each state association recommends one candidate for each of the four award areas,
which include the American Star Farmer, the American Star in Agribusiness, the American Star in Agricultural
Placement, and the American Star in Agriscience. Each award area has four finalists.
Palmquist, the son of Mark and Deb Palmquist of Canova, is a finalist for American Star in Agribusiness. He
was a member of the McCook Central FFA Chapter and his SAE project featured a custom silage cutting
Zemlicka, the son of Dwight and Patty Zemlicka of Watertown, is a finalist for American Star in Agriscience. A
former member of the Florence FFA Chapter, his SAE consisted of four different research projects, three of
which involved food science and ag processing.
Zulk, the son of Ken Zulk of Canova and Kathy Zulk of Howard, was also a member of the McCook Central
FFA Chapter and is a finalist for the American Star in Agricultural Placement. His SAE involved working on
diversified crop and livestock farms as well as in the agronomy division of the Central Farmers Cooperative in
“Only 16 FFA members from across the country qualify as Star Finalists, which makes the competition
extremely tough,” said Jon Farris, South Dakota’s Acting Secretary of Agriculture. “To have 3 members from
South Dakota reach this level bodes well for the future of agriculture in our state.”
Each Star finalist receives $2,000 from the National FFA Organization. One winner in each category will be
selected at the 83rd National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, this October. Winners will receive an
additional $2,000 award.
American FFA Degree recognition programs like the Stars Over America awards are co-sponsored by Case IH
of Racine, Wis.; Farm Credit of Washington, D.C.; Pioneer Hi-Bred of Des Moines, Iowa; and Syngenta of
Greensboro, N.C., as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
Agriculture is South Dakota's No. 1 industry, generating more than $21 billion in annual economic activity and
employing over 173,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to
promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow. Visit us online at
- 30 -