INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Four Mason County FFA members received their American FFA Degrees last weekend in Indianapolis, Ind.
Jason Bechtle, Kaitlyn Dunn, Emily Keefer and Jordan Muncy were four members of the national organization to receive the award on Saturday. They all belong to the Mason County Vocational FFA chapter.
The National FFA Board of Directors said a record breaking number of members were receiving their degrees in 2019. The four members from Mason County were among 50 West Virginia members to receive the honor. There were a total of 4,353 awarded.
“They say it’s a sea of blue and it really is,” Bechtle said. “Everywhere you look there’s a blue jacket with yellow writing on the back.”
The requirements to receive the American FFA Degree include graduating at least 12 months prior to the national convention; being an active member for the past three years; receiving the State FFA Degree; complete a personalized amount of hours in an agricultural educational program; operate and maintain records for a supervised agricultural experience; maintain a “C” average or higher in high school; and complete 50 hours of community service with three or more activities.
Among those requirements, members need to select a financial option. For Option A, the member must earn $10,000 and infest $7,500. For Option B, the member must earn and invest $2,000 and work 2,250 hours in an excess of scheduled classes.
Bechtle said he completed his degree requirements through option A. He also said one of the other Mason County recipients completed her degree through option B by working at a veterinarian office.
Muncy and Keefer both said they were grateful for the support of their advisors and family throughout their time in FFA and working toward their American Degrees.
“I can probably speak for all four of us that it was an honor to get (the degree),” Bechtle said.
Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.