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Lynnville-Sully graduate receives highest FFA honor

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 11:31 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 11:47 a.m. CST
(Submitted Photo)
Marshall Hay, of Lynnville, stands with his American FFA Degree certificate in front of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis during last week's National FFA Convention & Expo. Hay was one of 105 students from Iowa to receive the FFA's highest degree.

For Lynnville-Sully graduate Marshall Hay, last week’s National FFA Convention & Expo marked the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to an organization he’s always been passionate about.

During the FFA’s 85th national convention in Indianapolis, Hay was presented with the American FFA Degree, the highest honor conferred upon FFA members. It is one of numerous awards presented during the convention, which attracts upwards of 50,000 students from across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

“This award really encompasses everything that I’ve done in FFA,” Hay said. “FFA gives us the opportunity to enhance our leadership and success, and I’ve been able to grown and gain so much through my experience with FFA.”

Each year, individuals who show the “utmost dedication to the organization through their desire to develop their potential for premiere leadership. personal growth and career success through agricultural education” are honored at the national convention. This year, Hay was one of 105 students from Iowa to receive the degree.

In addition to the American Degree honor, Hay served as Iowa’s FFA South Central State Vice President during 2011-2012 and was a Creed Speaking national semi-finalist in 2009.

Lynnville-Sully FFA Advisor Brian Lowry has watched Hay evolve throughout his years in FFA and recognizes the hard work that earned Hay the award.

“Marshall served as a state officer last year, so he was a really good candidate,” Lowry said. “He’s a special student with a passion for agriculture, so he’s definitely deserving.”

Lowry noted that in addition to recognizing Hay’s achievements, the award serves to motivate other students within Lynnville-Sully’s program as well.

“The American Degree is the highest degree you can earn in FFA, so anytime you can accomplish something like that, you’re going to breed more success in our chapter,” Lowry said. 

Although Hay is now a sophomore at DMACC’s Ankeny campus in the Argri-Business program with plans to transfer to Iowa State, he’ll remain a member of FFA for an additional two years. This is only fitting, as Hay sets a fine example for those following in his footsteps at Lynnville-Sully.

“I’ve devoted lots of my time to agriculture, agriculture education and the FFA, and I only hope that others can see what I’ve done and follow my lead,” Hay said.

“Not everyone has to be a state officer,” he added. “Simply getting involved is a great place to start because whatever little bit we can each do to help agriculture is going to make a huge difference.”

Nicole Wiegand can be contacted at (641) 792-3121 ext. 422 or via email at nwiegand@newtondailynews.com.

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