Aeron Acott, Breen McComb, and Rachelle Moore, members of the Cortez FFA Chapter from Cortez, received the American FFA Degree, the highest degree that can be earned in the National FFA Organization, according to a written news release from the organization. Earning this degree means they are of a select group of individuals recognized for years of academic and professional excellence. The honor was presented on Oct. 22, 2011 at the 84th National FFA Convention, held in Indianapolis, Ind.
The American FFA Degree recognizes demonstrated leadership ability and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing or service programs. To be eligible, members must have earned and productively invested $7,500 through a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program in which they start, own or hold a professional position in an existing agriculture enterprise and serve 50 community service hours. Recipients must also make it their mission to demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement.
Each award recipient received a gold American FFA Degree key, and a certificate in a blue leatherette frame. The three recipients names have also been added to a permanent plaque located in the agricultural education classroom at Montezuma-Cortez High School. Of the 540,379 FFA members nationwide, Acott, McComb and Moore were three of the only 3,241 to be recognized in 2011. The three college students join only 16 other Cortez FFA members to earn this national recognition. Only .0055 percent of FFA members ever receive their American Degree, the fourth and highest degree a member can earn.
The American Degree award program is sponsored, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation by Case Agriculture, The Progressive Farmer, Farm Credit, Pioneer, and Syngenta.
The National FFA organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 540,379 student members all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture as part of 7,489 local FFA 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. Follow National FFA on Facebook, Twitter, and FFA Nation. Visit www.FFA.org to learn more about the National FFA Organization.