Paullina, Iowa — An Iowan hasn’t won the award in 19 years. And some would call the fact that a woman won it “icing on the cake.”
A while back we told you that Kellie Einck, a 2014 graduate of South O’Brien Community School, was nominated for the National FFA Organization’s “American Star” award for her work, mostly as a mechanic and service writer at a John Deere dealership in northwest Iowa for the past three years.
As it turns out, Einck was not only nominated for the award, she won it. She says there are four finalists in each of four categories, or 16 total, and one winner per category, nationwide. Einck is the national FFA “American Star” in Agricultural Placement — an award that no Iowan has won for 19 years. Einck tells us how it feels.
Many people associate FFA with high school, but Einck tells us it doesn’t have to end there.
And, at 22, Einck says even if she hadn’t won the award, this would have been her final year in FFA. She tells us how she was nominated.
She says that the work that she has done at all the jobs she has had has counted toward the award.
Einck says that even though she’s finishing up her bachelor’s degree in accounting, no immediate big changes are in the works for her career-wise.
But Einck says even though she sometimes still gets strange looks when they see a “little blond girl” working in the shop, and she sometimes has to explain to people on the phone that she’s not the secretary, she’s very happy where she is and gets a sense of satisfaction when a job is done right.
She says she owes many people thanks for helping her to get the award and to get where she is today.
Einck says she always tells people that it’s “not to make a scene” or “to be the woman in the shop.” She says she just likes what she does and it’s enjoyable, and “if you love what you do every day it’s not hard coming to work.”
Photo Caption: Kellie Einck in 2015