Paxton Dahmer of Nevada, Mo., is the Show-Me State’s first national FFA officer in 13 years.
He was elected to serve as central region vice president on the 2020-21 National FFA Officer Team in October during the 93rd National FFA Convention & Expo, held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dahmer, an agricultural education and leadership major at the University of Missouri in Columbia, was one of MFA’s Ag Experience interns this past summer, assigned to Missouri Farmers Care.
He and five other FFA members were selected from 38 candidates vying for the honor. Candidates take part in an extensive online interview process with the National FFA Officer Nominating Committee leading up to the election. National officers commit to a year of service to the organization. Throughout their year of service, the officers will interact with business and industry leaders, FFA members and leaders, corporate sponsors, government and education officials and the general public. The team will help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and the next generation of leaders.
During the convention, Missouri was recognized as having the highest number of American FFA Degrees by state, with 505 recipients earning the organization’s top individual honor. Less than one-half of 1% of FFA members earn this distinction.
Three Missouri FFA chapters—Ashland, Braymer and Troy— were ranked in the national top 10 in the Model of Excellence Division. Ashland was also recognized as a Top 10 chapter in Building Communities, and Audrain County R-VI FFA was Top 10 in the Strengthening Agriculture Division. A total of 33 Missouri chapters earned the highest available rating.
Two members captured national championships in Agricultural Proficiency. Jacob Dierking of Santa Fe FFA was the top winner in diversified crop production entrepreneurship, and Amanda Belew of Ashland FFA took the highest award in wildlife management. Missouri had seven other national finalists.
Four Missourians earned an honorary American FFA degree, awarded to people who have provided exceptional service on a national level to agriculture, ag education or FFA. Additionally, teachers who have created high-quality agricultural education programs are eligible. This year’s honorary degree recipients are Tonya Jedlicka, West Plains; John Kallash, Clopton; Randy Morris, Putnam County; and Chad Murphy, Versailles.
Visit ffa.org/2020-awards-results for a full list of winners.
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