Each year, the National FFA Organization honors the 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.
That honor, the American FFA Degree, is bestowed upon a select group of individuals for years of academic and professional excellence.
Travis Ball, Cameron Bookman, Brady Campbell, James Giffin, Breanna Schaad and Laura Whalin were selected to join that exclusive list and were 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 took place from Oct. 24-27.
From left: Laura Whalin, Cameron Bookman, Breanna Schaad, James Giffin, Brady Campbell and Travis Ball after receiving their American FFA Degrees during the 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.
Ball, Bookman, Campbell, Giffin, Schaad and Whalin are members of the Waterford FFA Chapter and their agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor is Matt Hartline.
The American FFA Degree is sponsored by Case IH, Farm Credit, Elanco, DuPont Pioneer and Syngenta as 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 received a gold American FFA Degree Key and a certificate in a blue leatherette frame to commemorate the achievement. The American Degree Ceremony was also held in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind..
Ball is the son of Darren and Lisa Ball and is currently majoring in Electrical Engineering at Washington State Community College. Bookman is the son of Bevv Smith and Bernard Bookman and is currently majoring in Music Education at Alderson Broaddus College. Campbell is the son of Joe and Bridget Campbell and is currently majoring in Animal Sciences at The Ohio State University. Giffin is the son of Jim and Terri Giffin and is currently majoring in Agricultural Education at The Ohio State University. Schaad is the daughter of Bo and Becky Schaad and is currently majoring in Agricultural Business at Wilmington College. Whalin is the daughter of Brian and Elaine Whalin and is currently majoring in Agricultural Business and Animal Sciences at The Ohio State University.
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 540,379 student members-all preparing for leadership and careers in science, business and technology of agriculture-as part of 7,489 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Visit www.ffa.org for more information.