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Kurtis Harms, director of communications with the Nebraska Corn Board, presents Heidi Borg, Miranda Hornung, Aubyrne McClintock, Isabelle Stewart and Rebekah Vote with Ag Champions honors. Not pictured: Amanda Most

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Corn Board, in partnership with Nebraska FFA, recently recognized six high school FFA students as Ag Champions at the 2017 State FFA Convention in Lincoln. The purpose of the Ag Champions program is to help FFA students find their voices to help advocate for agriculture.

“People are becoming increasingly removed from the farm and from ag production,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board. “This disconnect can result in confusion or distrust of modern agriculture. It’s reassuring to see the entries we received for the 2017 Ag Champions program. Nebraska’s FFA students are tremendous advocates for agriculture and will no doubt become future leaders in our industry.”

This year’s contest focused on using online tools, such as websites, blogs and social media platforms, to develop consistent, positive messages about Nebraska agriculture. Students were asked to create at least six different posts discussing a wide range of topics, such as current agricultural issues, family farming and modern production practices.

“I learned that you really need to adjust your message for your audience,” said Heidi Borg, FFA member at Wakefield Community High School. “We know our industry, but [when talking to others] we really need to be able to communicate in words people understand.”

Throughout the process, students had to think critically to ensure their messaging fit their audiences, while using appropriate media delivery tactics.

“Using technology, I’ve learned you can connect with people who are outside your community and work to bring them inside your community to create a dialogue,” said Miranda Hornung, FFA member at Raymond Central High School.

This year’s Ag Champions award winners are (in alphabetical order):

  • Heidi Borg, senior at Wakefield Community High School
  • Miranda Hornung, junior at Raymond Central High School
  • Aubyrne McClintock, freshman at Wallace High School
  • Amanda Most, junior at Ogallala High School
  • Isabelle Stewart, senior at Lakeview High School
  • Rebekah Vote, freshman at Wallace High School

The six winners each receive $500 scholarships to be used to further their agricultural advocacy efforts through FFA.

This is the third time the Nebraska Corn Board partnered with Nebraska FFA to host the Ag Champions program. The 2017 Nebraska State FFA Convention was held April 5-7 in Lincoln, Nebraska.


The Nebraska Corn Board is made up of nine farmer directors who serve three-year terms. Eight members represent specific Nebraska districts and are appointed by the Governor of Nebraska. The Board elects a ninth “at large” member.

The Nebraska Corn Board is a state funded agency funded through a ½-cent-per-bushel checkoff on all corn marketed in the state.

Nebraska corn checkoff funds are invested in programs of market development, research, promotion and education.