Nine Ballard FFA members were conferred the highest degree that can be bestowed upon an FFA member by the Iowa FFA Association on Tuesday, April 11. Only 5 percent of FFA members in Iowa receive the degree each year. Ballard FFA members receiving this award include: Dana Edleman, Cody Ihle, Nick Jordan, Jarrett Miller, Jed Miller, Nolan Payne, Caitlin Peterson, Clayton Poots and Winter Ringgenberg.

“It was really cool to get this honor and be able to walk across stage with other Iowa FFA members,” said junior Jarrett Miller.

To receive the Iowa FFA Degree, FFA members must have been an active member for 24 months, have completed at least two years of systematic instruction in agricultural education, have earned and productively invested at least $1,000 or worked at least 300 hours in a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program, have a satisfactory scholastic record, have demonstrated leadership abilities, have completed 25 hours of community service and have participated in at least five different FFA activities above the local level.

“As the first class to go through the Ballard agricultural education program, this was really exciting to see these nine members receive this award,” said advisor Jenny Lichty. “They have all worked hard to make sure this chapter succeeds.”

Each Iowa FFA Degree recipient receives a certificate and the golden State FFA Degree Charm pin, which is made possible with support from DuPont Pioneer through the Iowa FFA Foundation.

“After receiving this degree, it makes me want to strive for the golden key of the American degree,” said senior Nick Jordan. “I’m going to keep working on my SAE program to apply next spring to earn my American degree in 2018.”

The Ballard FFA Chapter was chartered on October 9, 2014, and currently provides leadership opportunities to members at local, district and state levels. The Ballard FFA Chapter makes a difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. For more information, please contact the Ballard FFA chapter or visit