The saying, ‘hard work pays off,’ rings true for one North Dakotan.
22-year-old Dylan Finken from Douglas is one of just four FFA members who’s a finalist for the American Star Farmer Award.
From feed sales to canola, soybeans, and learning the books, Finken is the star of this week’s edition of ‘Positively North Dakota.’
“Forage production opened the doors for me getting my foot in the door to farming,” Finken said.
That’s also what eventually landed him as a recipient for the American Star Farmer award.
Through his FFA involvement, Dylan applied for the award based off of his Supervised Agricultural Experience, which was a project based on diversified crops.
Dylan has been with the Max FFA program since it’s conception back in 2008. Now, in his last year to qualify, he’s a national finalist.
But his efforts started long before this.
“I’ve been working on the farm since, basically, since I could walk,” Dylan added.
The Finken Farm was started back in 1916 by Dylan’s great, great grandfather.
As a fourth generation farmer, his hard work does not go unnoticed.
His mom, DeAnne, said, “When you realize that your son is one of the top four in the nation, there’s just nothing that can surpass that. Other than if, ultimately, he would win it. But he’s a winner in our eyes no matter what.”
“He’s definitely very outgoing and willing to try anything,” Dylan’s FFA advisor, Amanda Huettl, said. “This is not an easy feat to take on, not every student wants to apply to be an American Star Farmer.”
Dylan is Huettl’s first student to snag the nomination.
He said, “If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today.”
.. and he said win or lose, he’s got a bright future ahead.
“Just [to] keep feeding the world and keep educating them on where their food comes from.”
FFA students have four years after high school to participate and qualify for awards like this one.
The next step is to attend the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis this October, where the American Star Farmer will be announced.
The winner will of course be the title holder for the next year, and get a generous cash prize.