Three Soroco High School alumnae are the proud recipients of one of the National FFA Organization's most prestigious honors.
Michelle Biles, Amanda Phillips and Tiffany Schaffner, members of Soroco's Class of 2003, traveled to Louisville, Ky., last month to receive their American FFA Degrees.
The American FFA Degree is the highest level of membership FFA offers and is obtained by less than one-half of 1 percent of all FFA members across the country.
On Thursday, Biles, Phillips and Schaffner, wearing long black skirts and personalized FFA jackets, appeared before the South Routt School Board to be recognized for their achievement.
"It was such an honor," Phillips said of receiving the degree.
"I think you guys have brought us a great honor," School Board member Linda Long replied.
To be eligible for the degree, FFA members first must obtain the State FFA Degree, be active in their FFA chapter for the preceding three years, complete three years in an agricultural education program, graduate from high school at least one year before the national convention at which the degrees are granted and earn and invest at least $7,500 or earn and invest $1,500 and work 2,250 hours.
Biles, a student at Colorado Northwestern Community College, said earning the American FFA Degree was a common goal since they joined FFA during their freshman year of high school.
After five years of hard work and dedication, walking across the stage to receive their degrees at the FFA's massive national convention made it all worthwhile, Phillips said.
"The way we see it, we're the sports team, and we made it to the national playoffs," Phillips said. "It shows all the time and work and hours we put into our school and the community."
Byron Dean, Soroco High School's agriculture adviser, described his three former students as hard-working, active FFA members.
"I'm always just real excited and very proud of the kids when they go on to achieve these honors," Dean said. "It's very prestigious."
Biles, Phillips and Schaffner aren't the first Soroco FFA members to receive American FFA Degrees; seven previous members also have earned the degree.
FFA is a national youth organization of 464,000 student members preparing for careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. FFA programs emphasize the development of leadership skills, personal growth and career success.
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