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Kenmare college student earns top FFA honor

Only one percent of Future Farmers of America receive the American FFA Degree and now Charles Steinberger can add that to his resume.

11/10/15 (Tue)

Earns American FFA Degree . . . Charles Steinberger, center, displays his American FFA Degree after being named to the honor at the FFA national convention in Louisville, Ky., last week. Along with Steinberger are his sister Desiree and brother Alex.

By Marvin Baker

Only one percent of Future Farmers of America receive the American FFA Degree and now Charles Steinberger can add that to his resume.

Steinberger, who grew up in Kenmare and is now a college student at North Dakota State University, received the prestigious honor during last week’s national FFA convention in Louisville, Ky.

“That was my last hurrah for FFA,” Steinberger said. “It’s the highest honor an FFA member can receive.”

Steinberger has been involved in FFA for several years, being active in the Kenmare High School chapter, becoming a state officer and going on to the collegiate FFA chapter at NDSU.

Approximately 50 North Dakota students received the award this year and about 3,400 across the nation.

The degree is awarded to FFA members who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA and made significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experiences.

Steinberger admitted it wasn’t easy and took years to accomplish. Following is a shortened list of what an FFA member is required to complete to receive the American FFA Degree.

1.) Have received the state FFA degree;

2.) Have satisfactorily completed the equivalent of at least three years (540 hours) of systematic secondary school instruction in an agricultural education program;

3.) Have graduated high school at least a year prior;

4.) Have an operation and maintain records to substantiate comprehensive planning, managerial and financial expertise;

5.) Have either earned $10,000 and productively invested $7,500 or earn and invest $2,000 and work 2,250 hours in excess of scheduled class time;

6.) Have a record of outstanding leadership and community involvement;

7.) Have participated in at least 50 hours of community service within at least three different community service activities;

8.) Have to submit application with signatures of chapter president, adviser, superintendent or principal and state advisor to certify accuracy of all statements.

“Yes, there’s certain criteria to this like earning the $10,000,” Steinberger said. “I received a certificate and lapel pin and can put on my resume that I can operate a business and think of the future and that translates into the job market.”

He added, “When I applied to be a state officer, I was a few credits shy of getting it (the degree), so I went for it.”

Majoring in agribusiness with a minor in accounting, Steinberger didn’t have a whole lot of time to absorb his award. He got back from Louisville on Monday morning and went right to class.

He plans to remain in the collegiate FFA chapter and says it’s the next step of natural progression in FFA.

“It’s more leadership driven and is designed more for the campus,” he said.

Steinberger talked about FFA, it’s sponsors and what it’s done for him and other Kenmare students who have gone on to bigger and better things.

“Keep supporting your local FFA chapter,” he said. “Sponsors have a huge impact on students.” ... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!