116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Linn-Mar graduate Chase Krug is a finalist for one of the National FFA Organization’s top achievement awards — American Star in Agriscience.
Krug, 21, is a finalist in part because of his research into potato and corn breeding, and mung beans. He worked to breed potatoes that are better adapted to grow in Eastern Iowa, and even did research at the World Vegetable Center in India.
He graduated from Linn-Mar High School in 2018 and is a student at Iowa State University. He will graduate with a degree in agronomy and philosophy next spring. He then plans to pursue a Ph.D. in plant breeding and a master’s of professional studies in public art and leadership.
“My prime interest is to develop crops and ornamental plants for a climate that is changing,” Krug said.
Although lot of corn is grown in Iowa, he noted it is very mono-cultured and lacks genetic diversity.
“That makes it more susceptible to disease and pests,” Krug said. “My goal is to develop diversification of crops and make those crops more resistant to pests and disease; increasing the stability of the food system; creating a better, more varied diet; and ensuring food prices remain stable.”
The American Star Awards recognize National FFA Organization members who have developed outstanding agricultural skills by completing a supervised agricultural experience program. Members can own and operate an agricultural business, intern at an agricultural business or conduct an agriculture-based scientific experiment and report the results.
Other criteria include demonstrating top management skills; completing key agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements; and earning an American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest level of student accomplishment.
A panel of judges will interview the finalists and announce one winner from each of four award categories at the 94th National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis this fall.
Krug has completed 15 projects in agricultural science, making him a finalist in that category.
He views it as a “capstone accomplishment” for his eight years in the National FFA Organization. And he hopes it inspires high school students to think outside the box in their pursuit of agriculture.
“FFA is an amazing experience,” Krug said. “I highly encourage you to take every opportunity to put yourself out there, explore various aspects of the agriculture industry, take with you the lessons and apply them to a future career and life.”
After graduate school, Krug hopes to return to Eastern Iowa and create a public garden research institution that educates the public about plants and animals and researches plant breeding and environments.
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