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 agriculture education. That honor, the American FFA Degree, is bestowed upon a select group of individuals for years of academic and professional excellence.
Kelly Blackburn, an FFA member representing the Prairie Heights FFA Chapter in LaGrange, was selected to join that exclusive list and was awarded the American FFA Degree at the 85th National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis. The convention is known as the largest student gathering in the United States and was held Oct. 24-27 this year.
The American FFA Degree is a special project of the National FFA Foundation. It 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 $7,500 through a supervised agricultural experience program in which they start, own or hold a professional position in an existing agriculture enterprise. Recipients must also complete 50 community service hours as well as demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement.
Each recipient of the American FFA Degree receives a gold American FFA Degree Key plus a certificate after being on stage during the convention.
The National FFA organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 540,379 student members in grades 7-12 who belong to one of 7,489 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.