Kyleigh Sulkowski and Madilyn Trollinger, two recent Ste. Genevieve High School graduates and members of the Ste. Genevieve FFA chapter, each were awarded the American FFA Degree at the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo, which took place from October 30 to November 2 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Each year, the national FFA organization honors 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.
The American FFA Degree is bestowed upon a select group of students in recognition of their years of academic and professional excellence. This year, 4,353 American Degrees were awarded.
Sponsored by Case IH, Elanco Animal Health and Syngenta, the award 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 $10,000 through a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program in which they own their own business or hold a professional position as an employee.
Sulkowski’s SAE was in specialty animals and crops. She raised alpacas and bees, and she sold honey and raised pumpkins and managed a fruit orchard. She also worked at the Ste. Genevieve County Community Center in the recreation category.
Trolinger’s SAE was in poultry production, and during both girls’ senior years, she worked with FFA co-advisor Hannah Fristche-Donze in agriculture education.
Recipients must also complete 50 hours of community service and demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and civic involvement through completion of a long list of FFA and community activities. Less than one percent of FFA members achieve the American FFA Degree.
Each recipient of the American FFA Degree receives a gold American FFA Degree key and certificate after being recognized on stage at the national convention.
FFA provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to more than 700,000 student members who belong to one of the more than 8,600 local FFA chapters.
(Information from the Ste. Genevieve R-II School District.)