FFA-EmblemA central Missouri resident has been nominated for one of the National FFA’s highest honors.  Tyler Linneman, 22, of Keytesville, is one of four people in the nation to be selected by the organization as a finalist for the 2013 American Star Farmer Award. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Linneman:

Tyler Linneman

Information from the National FFA

Since age 5, Tyler Linneman has enjoyed progressive roles in working on his family’s farm in Missouri. From his early days of handling daily chores to raising his own beef cattle and growing tobacco in high school, each year posed new and increasingly important responsibilities.

But in 2011, when the Missouri FFA member’s father suffered a devastating fall from a grain bin that put him out of commission for more than a year, Linneman found himself in the lead role of managing his family’s livelihood.

In the process, he managed to earn an associate’s degree in science from Moberly Area Community College. He planned to continue his education at a four-year university until his father’s accident, which caused him to re-evaluate his future plans. He decided to stay home and run his family’s farm.

“I felt that I could not abandon my responsibilities to my family,” Linneman said. “I became an entrepreneur. I made important financial and employment decisions and learned a great deal about time management, which has affected the profitability of my operations.

“Some decisions have definitely been better than others but my life’s dream has always been to be a fulltime farmer and work as a partner with my father.”

Linneman is 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.

Linneman, 21, was highly active in his FFA chapter at Keytesville High School in Keytesville, Mo., led by advisor Teresa Briscoe. He served as chapter sentinel and vice president and earned numerous state and national awards in diversified crop production, agronomy and forest management. In 2011, he was named a Missouri FFA Star Farmer and received the state’s top award in diversified agriculture proficiency.

He is the son of Janiece and Leland Linneman.