Dordt College News

Dordt student awarded American FFA degree

October 1, 2009

FFA Degree

Less than one percent of National FFA Organization members are awarded American FFA degrees, and this year Elisa Sagehorn, a freshman agriculture student at Dordt College, was among the elite few.

Sagehorn attended the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN, on October 21-24, along with Mike Schouten, Dordt’s Ag Stewardship Center steward; and fellow Dordt classmates Rachel Gorter and Amanda Stout. A gold American FFA degree key and certificate were presented on stage on the closing night of the 82nd national convention.

“The key is a symbol of so many different things,” said Sagehorn. “To every individual it holds a place of remembering hard work, dedication, tradition, and all the emotions of their experiences in the ag classroom and the FFA organization.” Sagehorn’s key also symbolizes a tradition she carries: both her father Keith Sagehorn and her uncle Ray Dean Sagehorn received American FFA Degrees, and Sagehorn said she is continuing a tradition of morals and standards in her family.

“Beyond even that, my key is a recognition of the passion FFA has inspired me to carry,” she said. “The key is a starting point in my own future as I prepare to inspire youth as an agriculture instructor.”

Sagehorn is from Holyoke, CO, and is majoring in animal science with a pre-veterinary focus. She is a member of the Holyoke FFA Chapter, and served as an executive committee member on the Colorado FFA state officer team for 2008-2009.

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 (SAE) program. Recipients must start, own, or hold a professional position in an existing agriculture enterprise, and demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement.

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 507,763 student members—all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business, and technology of agriculture through one of 7,439 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The mission of FFA 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. See for more information.
The degree recognition program is sponsored by Case IH, The Farm Credit System, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Inc. and Syngenta as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

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