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Ag students receive American FFA Degree


Missouri State-West Plains Photo
Six agriculture students at Missouri State University-West Plains are recipients of the FFA’s highest honor – the American FFA Degree. Five will receive their award at the National FFA Convention Nov. 2 in Indianapolis, Ind. Front row from left are 2019 recipients Dalton Sanders, Salem, Sean Loughridge, Licking and Christian Hirsch, Thayer; and 2018 recipient Jarod Coatney, West Plains. Back row: 2019 recipients Braylin Shelton, Salem, and Vanessa Kirkwood, Houston.



WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Six agriculture students at Missouri State University-West Plains are recipients of the FFA’s highest honor – the American FFA Degree.
Five will receive their honors Nov. 2 at the organization’s annual convention in Indianapolis, Ind. They include Dalton Sanders and Braylin Shelton, both of Salem; Sean Loughridge, Licking; Christian Hirsch, Thayer; and Vanessa Kirkwood, Houston.
Jarod Coatney, West Plains, received his degree at the 2018 National FFA Convention Oct. 24-27, 2018, in Indianapolis.
As the highest degree achievable in the National FFA Organization, the American FFA Degree shows an FFA member’s dedication to his/her chapter and state FFA association, according to information posted on the ffa.org website.
It demonstrates the effort FFA members apply toward their supervised agricultural experience and the outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement they exhibited throughout their FFA career.
American FFA Degree recipients show promise for the future and have gone above and beyond to achieve excellence, according to FFA officials.
To qualify for the degree, recipients must meet qualifications such as receiving a State FFA Degree, holding active membership for the past three years, completing secondary instruction in an agricultural education program and operating an outstanding supervised agricultural experience program.
Community service, leadership abilities and outstanding scholastic achievement are also required.
“We are proud that these outstanding students have chosen Missouri State-West Plains’ agriculture program to start their college careers,” said Dr. Linda Risner, associate professor of agriculture and agriculture department head at Missouri State-West Plains. “We know these young men will continue to have a positive impact on their communities and the agriculture industry.
“We look forward to their involvement in our chapter of the Professional Agriculture Student (PAS) Organization, which is a continuation of FFA with an emphasis on career preparedness,” she added.
Sanders and Kirkwood are both agriculture education majors, Hirsch and Shelton are both agribusiness majors, and Loughridge is an animal science/agribusiness major.
For more information about FFA and the American FFA Degree, visit ffa.org. For more information about the PAS Organization, visit nationalpas.org.
            For more information about the agriculture programs at Missouri State-West Plains, visit wp.missouristate.edu or email LindaRisner@MissouriState.edu.

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