South Stokes Rachel Brown became the first student in Stokes County to be awarded the State FFA Degree by the North Carolina FFA Association at the end of June. The award was given during a ceremony held as part of the 88th North Carolina FFA State Convention.
“Future Farmers of America was the first club I joined at South Stokes and is one I have yet to leave completely,” Brown said. “FFA is a club I love so much that I’ll participate in collegiate FFA, and hopefully one day become an FFA advisor.”
In order to receive the degree, Brown had to meet stringent requirements by implementing agricultural projects and working at least 300 hours outside of scheduled class time.
The teen became a salesman for Armstrong Artisan Farms where she sold and delivered meat and eggs at area farmers markets. She also led a school project, Food for Everyone, a garden created by the FFA for those in need in Stokes County.
“One year I started a charity called Evergreens for Everyone in which people donated money so that everyone in our community could have a live Christmas tree if desired and the trees were purchased from our FFA,” Brown said.
In addition to notable projects, Brown demonstrated her leadership ability by serving as an FFA chapter president, vice president, secretary, along with many committees as chairperson. She also participated in FFA activities above her chapter level, such as FFA Nationals and North Carolina State Council Conference.
“I loved being heavily involved,” she said. “Being able to say I completed all of it is a huge next step to achieving my American FFA Degree.”
Recently, Brown has been teaching a local homeschool group about the importance of agriculture in everyday life.
“FFA as a whole is an extremely important program to be a part of. It teaches a child more than just agriculture but work ethic, love, and dedication. Agriculture is the base of life and without it we couldn’t live. Agriculture is found in every single thing,” Brown explained. “As much as FFA wants to see its members in an agriculture related field, it also prepares students in other fields such as accounting, engineering, marketing and more. It does this with a concentration in agriculture, but it promotes other fields so we can have advocates all over.”
In June, Brown signed a letter of intent to attend NC State University to pursue a degree in agriculture education.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.