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Oklahoma FFA rises to the top at National FFA Convention

Oklahoma FFA, along with its friends and supporters, watched in amazement as Oklahoma had yet another record-breaking year at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. on Oct. 20-23.  Oklahoma came home with more than 20 awards including the national president and national agriscience teacher of the year.

FFA which is the student organization affiliated with Agricultural Education is an integral part of the CareerTech system. Oklahoma’s FFA membership is 22,810. It ranks among the top in the nation.

“In the past five years, the Oklahoma FFA Association has become more committed to preparing our members and chapters to compete successfully on the national level,” said Kent Boggs, state FFA executive secretary.  “Our teachers, students, alumni, and state staff all work together to make sure our national applications are accurate and that our students are prepared for the interviews and competitions.  That effort has certainly paid off the last three national conventions.”

Riley Pagett of the Woodward FFA Chapter was named National FFA President. Pagett is the eighth Oklahoman to serve as national president, the most of any state. He is also Oklahoma’s third national officer in the past five years.

The American Star Awards represent the finest of the American FFA Degree recipients.  Finalists for the award have mastered skills in production, finance, management and/or research. Four national Star Award winners are selected.

Rusty Kenner of the Cheyenne FFA Chapter received the American Star in Agribusiness. Oklahoma has had a national star winner four years in a row. Kenner is the fourth Oklahoman to receive this award and the first since 1984.

Alan Smith, the Cushing agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor became the first Oklahoman to win the National Agriscience Teacher of the Year award.

The Agriscience Teacher of the Year award recognizes teachers who have inspired and enlightened his or her students through engaging and interactive lessons in the science of agriculture. Each year, one National FFA Agriculture Teacher of the Year is selected.

The VIP awards honor individuals who have dedicated many years of service to FFA and agricultural education.
Phil Berkenbile, state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, became the 14th Oklahoman to receive the National VIP Award.

Numerous chapters from Oklahoma won awards, but one chapter stands out above the rest. The Kingfisher FFA Chapter brought home the National Prepared Public Speaking Winner, National Extemporaneous Public Speaking Winner, National Livestock Evaluation Team Winner and Parliamentary Procedure Event-Gold Team.

The Agricultural Proficiency Awards honor members who have developed specialized skills through projects, which they can apply toward future careers.

Oklahoma had 22 national proficiency award finalists and eight winners, the most of any state. Oklahoma has accomplished this achievement three years in a row.

The National Agri-Entrepreneurship Awards honor members who recognize market opportunities and develop solid business plans.

William Maltbie of the Burlington FFA Chapter was one of 10 students to receive a $1,000 cash award as a National Agri-Entrepreneurship Award winner.

Oklahoma FFA had three of the 10 national winners in the National Risk Management Essay Contest.

The Honorary American FFA Degree is presented to teachers who have created high-quality agricultural education programs, which inspire and motivate their students to strive for success. The degree is also presented to individuals who have provided exceptional service to agriculture, agricultural education, or FFA.

Oklahoma had seven Honorary American Degree Recipients.

The American FFA Degree is awarded to members who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA and made significant accomplishments in their projects.

Oklahoma had 169 American Degree recipients.

The National Chapter Award program recognizes chapters that successfully complete an annual series of activities designed to encourage its members to grow as individuals, to work as part of a team, and to serve others.

Oklahoma had 25 Three Star Chapters, the most of any state. They have also achieved this for three years in a row.

“You won't find people anywhere in the United States that are more passionate about Agricultural Education and the FFA than you will in Oklahoma,” Boggs said. “The pride exhibited by our teachers and members makes us unique.  There is obviously a lot of teaching and learning going on here!”

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 520,284 student members, all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture—as part of 7,429 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.

For more information about the Oklahoma CareerTech system, please visit For more information about the Oklahoma FFA Association, please visit


-Written by Liz Golliver

Publish Date: November 1, 2010

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