Jake Bagby named national finalist in Star Award program

Ashley Inge
Jake Bagby

Jake Bagby, a 2019 graduate of Stephenville High School, was selected as one of the four Star American Agriscience finalists.

Star Awards are given to students with outstanding Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) Programs. The Star American Awards are given to individuals who have maintained their SAE after graduating high school. Four students across the nation are selected to be Star American Finalists in each of the following categories: Production, Agribusiness, Placement and Agriscience.

“It’s been something I've been working towards ever since I was a freshman in high school by doing research,” he said. “Hearing I won state with this was super exciting and whenever I got the call and was told that I became a national finalist, one of four, I was stoked and I couldn’t believe it. My family and I were super happy to find this out along with our Ag teachers and I still can’t believe that it happened.”

Bagby, 19, will represent the Texas FFA Association and the Stephenville FFA Chapter in October as he interviews and competes for the National Title of Star American in Agriscience.

He said there are normally 70,000 people in attendance every year at the National FFA Convention held in Indianapolis. This year, due to the pandemic, the competition will be held virtually.

“I'll be doing a virtual interview through Zoom,” he said. “Also, a film crew will be coming and will be recording me here in Stephenville. I’m looking forward to see what else I can do moving forward. It would be an absolute huge honor to be able to win this and be a national champion, but it’s already such an honor to be representing the state in this competition and being able to compete at the national level anyway.”

Bagby said he is grateful for the opportunity to compete and wants to thank his Ag teachers and the Stephenville community for supporting him.

“This will probably be my final thing in FFA. I've been going at it for a long time now, ever since my seventh-grade year. I just retired as a state officer, so it’s kind of a good way to wrap up my time in FFA and hang up my blue jacket and be able to call it quits from there,” he said.

Bagby is currently a sophomore at Texas Tech University and is majoring in animal science.

"It’s a huge honor to be able to do this and being able to represent not only Stephenville, but also the entire organization of Texas FFA,” he added.