Oklahoma FFA Honors Yukon FFA Member Nicole Stevens as State Star in Agriscience WinnerWed, 03 May 2017 17:31:13 CDT
Yukon FFA member Nicole Stevens has participated in FFA events ranging from public speaking to livestock shows, but she found her passion in science.
Stevens' devotion to scientific investigation led to her selection as the 2017 State Star in Agriscience. Her supervised agricultural experience was rated the best agriscience program among the 797 FFA members who received the State FFA Degree during the 91st Oklahoma State FFA Convention in Oklahoma City on May 3.
"One of my favorite things about the Agriscience Fair is that it is a community of people who encourage helping one another," Stevens said. "When I first began competing in the Agriscience Fair, it was very small. During the past five years, it has grown drastically, and we have formed a network of experiment designs and advice."
Stevens said she began participating in the agriscience SAE in eighth grade, when she created a project that involved using magnets to improve production agriculture.
Watch a video clip featuring the 2017 State Star in Agriscience, Nicole Stevens, describe her agriscience SAE, by clicking or tapping the PLAY BUTTON in the video box below.
During her freshman year, Stevens partnered with a local farmer to install soybean-based spray foam insulation in her school's agricultural mechanics shop to improve energy efficiency. Her project qualified for national competition, where she earned ninth-place honors.
Stevens said she had access to two greenhouses, which allowed her to perform several plant-based experiments. She said she compared genetically modified soybeans to standard ones, studied soil types and their effects on fertilizer runoff, and biogas production.
Stevens said she sought out Frank Hardin of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation for advice on her projects. She said she also attended several Noble Foundation seminars, one of which involved genetic experiments with fresh, frozen and canned strawberries.
"A passion for science runs in my family," Stevens said. "Both of my siblings competed in the Agriscience Fair. I have always been interested in science and figuring out how and way things work the way they do."
The 17-year-old Yukon FFA member is the daughter of Scott and Kristy Stevens. Her agricultural education instructors and FFA advisers are Dustin Beams and Scott Stevens.
After graduating this spring, Stevens will attend Oklahoma State University in hopes of building a law career. She is also a recipient of an OSU research grant and plans to continue studying science.
"My experience through agricultural education has taught me that agriculture is in dire need of advocates," Stevens said. "This led to my decision to pursue ag law and become one of these advocates. I view it as a way to give back to the industry that has given so much to me."
Along with the State Star honor, Stevens received the Governor's Trophy and a $1,500 cash award, which is sponsored on the state level by The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. The national sponsor for this award is CNH Industrial Capital.
FFA is an integral part of the Agricultural Education division in the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education system. With more than 27,000 members and 357 chapters, the Oklahoma FFA Association is the fourth-largest state FFA association. 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. To learn more about the Oklahoma FFA, visit okffa.org.
Stevens was featured on the Blue-Green Gazette page of our website earlier this year in recognition of her achievement being named the Southwest District Star in Agriscience. Click or tap here to jump to that story.
Source - Oklahoma State FFA Association
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