Roan Mountain native receives national FFA honor

Published 3:27 pm Monday, September 10, 2018

The trend of agricultural prowess continues in Roan Mountain.

Danielle Hughes, a 2016 graduate of Cloudland High School, recently earned the 2018 American FFA Degree — a national recognition bestowed to less than one percent of all National FFA members. Hughes was one of the 169 students to receive the honor.

It all comes down to dedication. Lauren Turbyfill, Cloudland High School FFA advisor, was quick to praise the effort of her former student. Hughes joined the Cloudland FFA Chapter in fall of 2012.

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“Danielle has been a FFA member freshman through senior years and maintained her membership beyond graduate,” Turbyfill said. The advisor added that FFA members can continue in the organization until they are 21 years old and that the American Degree can only be achieved following graduation from high school.

The requirements for a student to earn the certificate include:

• Earned the State FFA Degree junior and senior year of high school

• Earned and productively invested $2,000 and worked 2,250 hours in excess of scheduled class time through the student’s projects.

• Have 50 hours of community service

• Maintained a C or higher average during her academic career

• Be an active member in FFA for over three consecutive years

• Complete 540 instructional hours of agricultural education during high school

During her time in high school, Hughes participated in various agricultural activities ranging from livestock, traditional farming to lawn care maintenance and food service.

Candidates for the 2018 degree will be recognized during the 91st National FFA Convention & Expo on Saturday, Oct. 27, in Indianapolis. During the event, recipients receive a certificate and American FFA key.

According to the National FFA Foundation, the goal of the organization is to build partnerships with individuals, business, industry and organizations to secure resources for the future of agricultural education.

There are currently over 650,000 part of the organization. FFA also has over 300,000 alumni members and over 11,000 educators. Nearly $3,000,000 was awarded in scholarships in 2017. As of Monday, 3,780 American Degrees have been dispersed to members.

Hughes’ recognition continues a trend of Highlander alumni receiving the award. Last year, Carl Markland and Clydie Black received the awards. It was also a breakout year for the program last year with the group sending 17 total representatives to the national expo. Individuals wanting to learn more about supporting the Cloudland High School FFA may do so by contacting the school.