Local FFA member named national degree recipient

Published 9:07 am Monday, December 1, 2008

Kari Opdahl, a member of the Albert Lea FFA Chapter, recently received the American FFA Degree. Earning the degree means Opdahl is one of a select group of individuals recognized for years of academic and professional excellence. The honor was presented Oct. 25 at the 81st National FFA Convention 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 program in which they start, own or hold a professional position in an existing agriculture enterprise. Recipients must also make it their mission to demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement.

Each award recipient receives a gold American FFA Degree key and certificate in a frame. Of 500,823 FFA members nationwide, Opdahl was one of only 3,341 to be recognized in 2008. The degree recognition program is sponsored by Case IH, the Farm Credit System, Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. and Syngenta as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

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The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture — as part of 7,358 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 agriculture education. The FFA mission is so make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.