Earning the degree means the FFA members are part of a select group of individuals who were recognized for their years of academic and professional excellence. The honor was presented Oct. 22, at the 84th National FFA Convention.
The American FFA Degree recognizes FFA members who demonstrated leadership ability and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing or service programs. To be eligible, members must have earned and productively invested $7,500 through a supervised agricultural experience program in which they start, own or hold a professional position in an existing agriculture enterprise and serve 50 community service hours.
Recipients must also make it their mission to demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement.
Each award recipient received a Gold American FFA Degree key and a certificate in a blue leatherette frame. Of the 523,309 FFA members nationwide, the Washington County FFA members were five of the 12 Maryland FFA members to receive the degree and ones of only 3,240 to be recognized nationally this year.
The FFA members have been guided by Boonsboro FFA Chapter advisers Steve Garland and Mark Heavner, and Clear Spring FFA chapter advisers Susan Lowery and Terrie Shank.
The American Degree award program is sponsored as a project of the National FFA Foundation by Case IH Agriculture, DTN/The Progressive Farmer, Farm Credit, Pioneer Hi-Bred, A DuPont Business, and Syngenta.
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 523,309 student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
For more information, go to www.FFA.org.