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SD Star Farmer Landon Wolter is shown with his cows and FFA jacket at his family’s operation southeast of Wessington Springs. 

Judged on an in-depth series of interviews, FFA record books and detailed information about his own cattle herd, Wessington Springs High School graduate Landon Wolter took home the coveted State Star Farmer prize.

“The South Dakota FFA held its convention virtually this year May 12, 13 and 14, with the highlight for the Wessington Springs Chapter being Landon Wolter selected as Star Farmer of South Dakota.  Landon and his application went through many interviews and evaluations before being selected the state winner,” said Craig Shryock, WSHS Agricultural Education Instructor.  

WSHS graduate Riley Larson was also one of the four finalists for Star Farmer and Wolter was also a finalist for Star in Placement.  

“Earlier this year, Wolter was also selected as Star Farmer of District 6 and Larson was the runner-up.  Wolter was also Star in Placement for District 6,” Shryock continued. “Members receiving their State FFA Degrees were Landon, Riley, Chloe Munsen, Monte Azure, Makayla Dornbusch, Riley Hine, Seth Tebay and Ty Von Eye.  This class of seniors has accomplished a lot for our chapter and will be greatly missed.”

“I didn’t think I had a good shot to win because I don’t have as big of a scope as the other kids — one kid had 66 cows,” Wolter said.  “I’ve been trying to do it by myself, not having parents buy my cows. I explained to the judges that I am able to run my own ground and labor share all of my input. I think they appreciated that and I was honest about it.”

“Extremely excited” about wining the top prize, Wolter is quick to give credit to his mentor Craig Shryock. “This isn’t something I could do without him helping. It’s nothing I could ever get done on my own. He needs to get the credit he deserves for helping all of us.”