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National FFA Will Recognize 52 ABAC Students at Convention

October 17, 2017

A total of 52 Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College students will receive FFA American degrees at the 2017 National FFA Convention and Expo on Oct. 27 in Indianapolis.  Less than one percent of all FFA members meet the strenuous requirements necessary to receive the American FFA Degree.  Dr. Jerry Baker, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at ABAC, will receive the Honorary American FFA degree at the convention.

Baker said ABAC’s Collegiate FFA is so successful because of the bonds that are formed between the high school agriculture teachers and ABAC.

“Students who receive the American FFA degree spend extensive time prior to college in the various high school FFA programs,” Baker said.  “We have a number of students who connect with ABAC’s agricultural program because of their experiences with the FFA organization and then they continue at the collegiate level afterward.”

Baker said the agriculture teachers and FFA advisers of Georgia have a great relationship with ABAC.

“These teachers are very devoted to their job because they spend time not only in the classroom, but after school with FFA students going to contests and competitions,” Baker said.  “Many of them have attended ABAC and send students our way.

“Those students are, in turn, graduating and getting good jobs, and they filter future students back to us.  I think that will be even more the case in the future with our new bachelor’s degree in agricultural education.”

Baker said the basic student eligibility for an American FFA Degree requires an active FFA membership of three years with 540 hours of secondary school instruction in an agricultural education program.  The student also must have graduated from high school one year prior to the national convention at which the degree is granted.  The students must be prior recipients of the State FFA Degree.

Baker said the final steps for American FFA Degree eligibility are quite difficult.

“Attaining this degree takes up a lot of personal time,” said Baker.  “Additional requirements include earning at least $10,000 and productively investing $7,500 after entering an agricultural education program.  One student in our program in recent years had a cut flower business and sold blueberries.  She used both of those endeavors to fulfill this requirement.”

The last qualification for a candidate to receive the American FFA Degree focuses on community involvement.  Each student receiving the degree at the convention devoted a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service to each of three different community causes or charities.

“We want our students to be well-rounded individuals,” said Baker.  “FFA helps develop our students into leaders.  They learn public speaking, critical thinking skills, and business plans among other things.  What they learn in class they apply outside of the classroom.”

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 649,355 student members who belong to one of 7,859 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Georgia Association has over 41,000 members, making it the third largest association in the nation.

ABAC students scheduled to receive this designation and their hometowns are as follows:

 

ADRIAN

Mary Kaitlyn Wheeler

AUGUSTA

Makenzie Cioffi

CALHOUN

Sarah Chance

CLARKESVILLE

Jacob Chastain

CLEVELAND

Sadie Hobbs

COLBERT

Alyssa Maxwell

COLQUITT

Cody Chapman

COMMERCE

Faith Gilman

CORDELE

Dallas Mathis

Danyel Tobias

COVINGTON

Hunter Aycox

Katie Barton

Jessie Hays

Jack Weesner

DANIELSVILLE

Hayden Bailey

Chelsea Beard

DAWSONVILLE

Zach Samples

DEMOREST

Noah Martin

ELLIJAY

Sadie Lackey

FOLKSTON

James Renshaw

FRANKLIN

Cole Holliday

HAZLEHURST

Veston Ramay

HOBOKEN

Normandie Lee

JEFFERSON

Camille Elliott

Matthew Sims

LAGRANGE

Catherine Emery

LAVONIA

Ethan Cobb

LYONS

Jocey Ricks

Benjamin Sanders

MOULTRIE

Jaimee Lea Burt

Kylie Wilkes

Mikayla Crews

MUSELLA

Sydney Dyer

OCILLA

Jayden Jankiewicz

PEMBROKE

Matthew Wise

PERRY

Alexandra Ikner

Michael Stanley

RINGGOLD

Kali Rae Callaway

SOCIAL CIRCLE

Natalie Brooks

STATHAM

McKennon Strickland

SYLVANIA

Alyson Pope

Emily Pope

VIENNA

Hance Tyson

WASHINGTON

Gavin Garrett

WATKINSVILLE

Marisa Palmer

WAYCROSS

Caleb Johns

Kristin Miles

Lauren Page

WHITE

Tate Knight

WINDER

Alexander Gilreath

WOODLAND

Ashton Terry

WRIGHTVILLE

Madison Parker

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