Thirteen individuals will be honored in an onstage ceremony with a VIP Citation at this year’s National FFA Convention & Expo held in Indianapolis Oct. 30 to Nov. 2. The VIP Citation recognizes individuals’ significant contribution to FFA and agricultural education. In addition, three sponsors will be honored with the Distinguished Service Citation during an onstage ceremony at this year’s National FFA Convention & Expo.
Those individuals receiving this distinction include Richard Barczewski of Dover, Delaware; Marc Beitia of American Falls, Idaho; Don Boggs of Manhattan, Kansas; Bob Funk of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; the late Kevin Koeleyn of Tulare, California; Joel Larsen of Roseville, Minnesota; Lloyd McCabe of Dixon, California; Dan Pentony of Danville, Illinois; Ron Pulse of Cheyenne, Wyoming; Michael Scuse of Dover, Delaware; John Starkey of Tucker, Georgia; Richard Taylor of Newark, Delware; Gary Thome of Adams, Minnesota.
“The VIP Award recognizes the dedicated individuals who contribute to the FFA mission of student success through their hard work and cooperation,” National FFA chief executive officer Mark Poeschl said. “Without such strong and outstanding commitment, FFA would not be able to help build strong character in its members, who in turn become strong leaders in their families, communities and businesses.”
BASF of Triangle Research Park, North Carolina; Farm Credit Alliance of Rocklin, California; and Valent U.S.A. of Walnut Creek, California, will receive the citation for their outstanding contributions to FFA and agricultural education on the national level.
Since 1956, BASF has been a sponsor of the National FFA Organization. An original supporter of the FFA Blue Room, the company also contributes to the state officer continuum and the National Association of Agricultural Educators. In fact, this year, they hosted the satellite broadcast of Teach Ag Events at their headquarters. They have been a supporter not only of National FFA, but also of local chapters as well.
Farm Credit Alliance has been a generous sponsor of FFA at the local, state, and national level for many years. Their contribution shows how they embrace and regularly demonstrate the pillars of philanthropy giving of their time, talent and treasure. In fact, in their financial support impacts more than 14 percent of FFA members on a national level. They support countless FFA chapters on local levels through financial support as well as serving as members on advisory committees and as judges and coaches for career and leadership development events.
Since 2000, Valent has been a National FFA Organization sponsor. They continue to demonstrate their commitment to agricultural education and youth leadership development with their support of National FFA Proficiency Awards, advocacy and literacy as well as educational resources. In addition, Valent hosts workshops at the National FFA Convention & Expo for teachers and students. The company has also formed a corporate alumni chapter to engage employees and promote their partnership with FFA.
Awards such as the Distinguished Service Citation recognize that FFA and its partners make a greater impression on students through the cooperation of the entire community. FFA and agricultural education programs have helped millions of students achieve extraordinary success for more than 90 years.