Grant County Herald
In a landmark achievement, Ben Ludwig of Ashby High School has become the school’s first student to receive the prestigious National FFA American Degree. This honor, conferred at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN, from November 1-4, is the highest accolade bestowed by the National FFA Organization, recognizing exceptional dedication and accomplishments in agricultural education.
The National FFA American Degree is a testament to the recipient’s comprehensive understanding and practical application of agricultural principles. Ludwig, who has been a proactive member of the FFA throughout his high school career, successfully met the rigorous criteria required for this award. These standards include earning and investing in agricultural ventures, demonstrating outstanding leadership, participating in community service, and maintaining a commendable academic record.
To be eligible for the National FFA American Degree, candidates must first attain the State FFA Degree, actively participate in FFA activities at the chapter and state levels for at least three years, and complete a substantial educational curriculum in agricultural studies. Additionally, they are required to showcase an outstanding supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program, evidencing sophisticated planning, managerial, and financial skills.
Ludwig’s achievements included maintaining records of his SAEs, with financial involvements of at least $10,000. His commitment to agricultural education was further exemplified through his leadership roles and influence in the development of fellow FFA members.
Eleora DeMuth, Ashby Agricultural teacher and FFA advisor, praised Ludwig’s work ethic and dedication. “He is the hardest worker we know and more than deserving of this award. Ben is an example of the FFA mission – premier leadership, personal growth, and career success,” DeMuth said.
Ludwig’s accomplishment is significant, considering that only 2% of FFA members nationwide receive this honor. His achievement reflects not only his personal commitment to agricultural education, but also highlights the quality of the FFA program at Ashby High School.
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, plays a pivotal role in agricultural education across the United States. Its American Degree program serves as a benchmark for students aspiring to excel in the agricultural sector. Ludwig’s recognition at this level underscores the practical and leadership skills that FFA instills in its members, preparing them for successful careers in agriculture and beyond.