County has three Virginia State Stars

Samuel Rhodes


In mid-September, two Shenandoah County agriculture students traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts, to compete at the Eastern States Exposition – also known as the Big E, which combines 20 states and over 900 FFA students for two days of competition.

To compete, teams and/or individuals must have placed second at their respective state convention. First place FFA state winners typically advance to the National FFA competition. Because there is no national competition for State Stars, who are actually first-place winners on the state level, State Stars also compete at the Big E.

Shenandoah County Schools has three of Virginia’s State Stars:

• Samuel Rhodes, a graduate of Central High School and a student at Dabney Lancaster Community College. He is Virginia’s State Star in placement.

Ethan Gochenour

• Ethan Gochenour, a Strasburg High School graduate and a freshman at Lord Fairfax Community College, is Virginia’s State Star farmer.

• Nathan McDonald, a graduate of Strasburg High School and a freshman at Virginia Tech, is Virginia’s State Star in agriculture. He was not able to compete.

Nathan McDonald