INDIANAPOLIS – Each year, the National FFA Organization honors FFA members who show the utmost dedication to the organization through their desire to develop their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.
The American FFA Degree is bestowed upon a select group of students in recognition of their years of academic and professional excellence. This year 3,863 American Degrees were awarded.
Lauren Smail and Samuel Stickley, both members of the A.B. Graham Ohio Hi-Point FFA chapter in St. Paris, Ohio were awarded the American FFA Degree at the 94th National FFA Convention & Expo Oct. 27-30. Lauren is the daughter of Kevin and Sheri Smail, Conover. Her SAE was corn and soybean production. She is a Zoology major at the Ohio State University. Samuel is the son of Jim and Lori Stickley, St. Paris. His SAE was breeding sheep, sheep placement, and breeding heifer cattle. He is a Meat Science major at Lincoln Land College.
Sponsored by Case IH, Elanco Animal Health, NAU Country Insurance Company, Pepsico Inc, RAM Trucks and Syngenta, the award recognizes demonstrated ability and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing or service programs.
To be eligible, FFA members must have earned and productively invested $10,000 through a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program in which they own their own business or hold a professional position as an employee. Recipients must also complete 50 hours community service and demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and civic involvement through completion of a long list of FFA and community activities. Less than one percent of FFA members achieve the American FFA Degree.
Each recipient of the American FFA Degree receives a gold American FFA Degree key and certificate after being recognized at the national convention.
The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 760,000 student members as part of 8,700 local FFA chapters in all 50 states Puerto Rico.