South Dakota FFA members recieve FFA’s highest award
BROOKINGS, S.D. — At the South Dakota State FFA Convention, 28 members from the state were recognized for receiving FFA’s highest honor.
Less than 1% of members receive this degree. Recipients of this degree were awarded their gold key and go to walk across the stage at the 2021 National FFA Convention and receive the coveted FFA American Degree.
As the highest degree achievable in the National FFA Organization, the American FFA Degree shows an FFA member’s dedication to his or her chapter and state FFA association. It demonstrates the effort FFA members apply toward their supervised agricultural experience and the outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement they exhibited through their FFA careers.
American FFA Degree recipients show promise for the future and have gone above and beyond to achieve excellence.
The requirements to earn the American FFA Degree are set forth in the National FFA Constitution. To be eligible to receive the American FFA Degree, members 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.
The South Dakota American FFA Degree Award winners were:
- Makayla Nelson from Arlington, S.D.
- Patrick White and Rebekah White from Brookings, S.D.
- Bailee Maye Anderson and Lily Claire Kenton from Chester, S.D.
- Daniel Bradley DeDeyne and Makayla DeDeyne from DeSmet, S.D.
- Hunter Eide from Gettysburg, S.D.
- Jessica L. Cain, Makoy M. Ivarsen, Slader Niewenhuis and Benjamin Olson from Harrisburg, S.D.
- Anna M. Schwader from Howard, S.D.
- Aubrey Anna Weishaar from Lemmon, S.D.
- Colin Kolbeck, Tanner Peterson and Blake Gessner from the McCook Central FFA Chapter
- Mary Katherine Hoiten from Montrose, S.D.
- Samantha Olson and Sadie Vander Wal from the Northwestern Area FFA Chapter
- Morgan Elizabeth Monroe from Rapid City, S.D.
- Danika G. Gordon from Sturgis, S.D.
- Zach Brown, Caden Farmer, Alisha McMartin and Jersie Reese from the West Central FFA Chapter
- Ryder Mortenson and Heather Rowe from Winner, S.D.
The convention wrapped up on Tuesday to more than 2,000 members attending in Brookings.
“At Convention, we saw a tremendous amount of energy coming from the students,” said SD FFA Foundation Executive Director Gerri Eide. “They’re very excited. They’re very motivated. They’re very dedicated to the ag industry. So, so many sponsors that we talked to this week, they’re like, this is exactly what I needed. I needed to go home, I can go home and say, ‘Yes, the future of agriculture is secure with these people as our leaders.'”