Future Farmers of America
American FFA Degree Ceremony
National President, raps for attention: We now come to one of the
most important activities of the national FFA convention: the election and
raising of candidates to the American FFA Degree. This degree marks the highest
level of membership which may be achieved in our organization.
As you know, our constitution sets qualifications which must be met before candidates are eligible for election to the American FFA Degree. Mr./Mdm. Secretary, will you please read the qualifications for this degree?
National Secretary, rises and reads the qualifications as set forth in Article 6, Section F, of the National FFA Constitution: To be eligible to receive the American FFA Degree from the National FFA Organization, the member must meet the following minimum qualifications:
1. Have received the State FFA Degree, have been an active member for the past three years (36 months) and have a record of satisfactory participation in the activities on the chapter and state levels.
2. Have satisfactorily completed the equivalent of at least three years (540 hours) of systematic secondary school instruction in an agricultural education program or to have completed at least the equivalent of 360 hours of systematic secondary school instruction in agricultural education and one full year of enrollment in a postsecondary agricultural program or have completed the program of agricultural education offered in the secondary school last attended.
3. Have graduated from high school at least 12 months prior to the national convention at which the degree is to be granted.
4. Have in operation and have maintained records to substantiate an outstanding supervised agricultural experience program through which a member has exhibited comprehensive planning, managerial and financial expertise.
5. A student after entering agricultural education must have:
a. Earned at least $10,000 and productively invested at least $7,500; or
b. Earned and productively invested $2,000 and worked 2,250 hours in excess of scheduled class time. Any combination of hours, times a factor of 3.56, plus actual dollars earned and productively invested must be equal to or greater than the number 10,000. Hours used for the purpose of producing earnings reported as productively invested income shall not be duplicated as hours of credit to meet the minimum requirements for the degree.
6. Have a record of outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement and have achieved a high school scholastic record of C or better as certified by the principal or superintendent.
7. Have participated in at least 50 hours of community service, within at least three different community service activities. These hours are in addition to and cannot be duplicated as paid or unpaid SAE hours.
National President: Mr./Mdm. Advisor, have the records of each of these candidates been carefully reviewed?
National Advisor: They have, Mr./Mdm. President. All candidates nominated have been found worthy of the honor of the American FFA Degree and are recommended for approval at this time.
National President: The chair will entertain a motion to approve these candidates for the American FFA Degree.
One delegate moves and another seconds that the candidates recommended receive the American FFA Degree. Vote should be taken on all candidates at the same time.
National President: Mr./Mdm. Secretary, what is the result of the vote?
National Secretary: Mr./Mdm. President, the vote is … to … (or unanimous).
National President: Thank you, Mr./Mdm. Secretary. I now declare the candidates approved according to your vote. Will the other national officers prepare to raise these members to the American FFA Degree? Will the candidates please stand?
All candidates RISE at three taps of the gavel. Candidates REMAIN STANDING during the ceremony as officers recite the ritual.
Fourth Vice President: Congratulations! By your accomplishments you have proven not only your interest but your efficiency in agriculture, the world’s essential industry. You are entitled to the honor and privileges which accompany the American FFA Degree. May your efforts in the future be as meaningful and productive as they have been in the past.
Third Vice President: As your officers, it is our duty to acknowledge achievement in a fitting and proper manner according to the provisions of our constitution. We know you are proud to have attained your goal, and we are equally proud to reward your efforts in the name of the National FFA Organization.
Second Vice President: Boundaries within our country exist only in name. True American citizens are interested in and loyal to their local communities and states, but their greatest devotion is to their country. Recipients of the American FFA Degree see beyond limited horizons. They concern themselves not only with the affairs of their local chapters and state associations, but also with the National FFA Organization, working for the advancement of agriculture, which, in turn, strengthens America.
First Vice President: As recipients of the Greenhand, Chapter and State FFA degrees, you were encouraged to advance to the American FFA Degree. Through your untiring efforts you have now succeeded in attaining a significant goal. This honor carries with it additional responsibility, and we look upon this occasion as a milestone in your life of achievement in agriculture. Your vision has expanded beyond the limits of your community and the confines of your state until it reached the broad horizon of the great United States of America. Therefore, you are expected to set a worthy example of a progressive agriculturist and to exert leadership in local, state and national affairs.
National Advisor: I charge you to continue your demonstrated faith in agriculture. Always be proud to work in the industry of agriculture and value your achievements. With all the virtues of independence in thought and action, be mindful of your individual limitations and your vital need to cooperate with your neighbors in the larger business and social activities which have become an essential part of our society. Remember, ‘in union there is strength.’
National President: The fact that the emblem of the FFA is surmounted by an American eagle is significant. The eagle is symbolic of strength, courage, the national scope of our organization and the extended honor which has been conferred upon you.
From earliest times, the eagle has been used as an emblem of leadership, power and progress. At the head of their legions, the Romans carried a golden eagle perched upon a spear.
In 1782, the United States adopted as its emblem the eagle with outspread wings, a shield upon its breast and holding an olive branch and a sheaf of arrows in its talons. The eagle is a bird of superb strength, keenness of sight and marvelous powers of flight. As the eagle soars high, so let your vision soar and lead you to greater heights of achievement.
Bring clear and purposeful thought to bear on your problems. Be strong and fearless in
spirit and action.
On behalf of the National FFA Organization, I confer upon you the American FFA Degree, together with its honors and privileges.
Candidates BE SEATED at 1 tap of the gavel.
Will the vice president escort the newly elected degree recipients to the platform to receive a key and a certificate?
Candidates receive the degree as their names are read.
National President: Please be seated. Will the officers return to their stations?