Two Indian Lake seniors will receive their FFA State Degree during the Ohio FFA Convention the first week of May.
Melanie Watkins, daughter of Bill Watkins and Amanda Marker of Russells Point, and Skylr Timbrook, daughter of Kevin Timbrook and Amy and Todd Kinninger of Lewistown, are the first Indian Lake students to earn such a degree in the past decade.
As the Indian Lake/Ohio Hi-Point FFA Chapter president and two-year member Timbrook says, “My grandfather, David Kipker, was his school’s FFA president and he got his state degree, so I wanted to follow in his footsteps.”
Watkins, the IL/OHP Chapter secretary and a member for four years, had a similar motivation. She says, “My grandpa, Clyde Linet, and my dad both earned theirs (degrees). I enjoy FFA and I wanted to do this to show my dedication to the program.”
IL/OHP FFA Advisor and agricultural educator Tanner Schoen is proud of his officers.
“These ladies worked extremely hard and put in many hours to earn this distinction. It’s my hope that they will be an example to the younger students in our FFA program.”
To earn a state FFA Degree, candidates must earn at least $2,500 from their Supervised Agricultural Experience. Watkins completed her required Supervised Agricultural Experience by showing pigs at the Logan County Fair and working at T&A Enterprises near Lewistown. Timbrook earned her money by working at Lakeview Hardware, T&A Enterprises and Triple K Farms near Lewistown. Other degree requirements include: participating in a minimum of two state FFA contests, serving as a chapter officer for at least one year, participating in at least eight FFA activities above the chapter level, participating in another professional school organization, performing at least 25 hours of community service with two different organizations and carrying a 3.0 GPA and/or earning at least a 93% attendance rate throughout high school.
Schoen says approximately 900 FFA members out of more than 25,000 members in Ohio will receive a state degree this year. But Watkins and Timbrook explain, FFA is more about the memories made than the awards.
“I’ve enjoyed all the experiences I’ve had along the way and all the friends I’ve made,” remembers Watkins.
“I’m proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished and I hope I can gain more knowledge of agriculture in the future,” Timbrook says.
Schoen plans to help the girls continue to achieve in FFA and maybe surpass their relatives.
“We hope that in one or two years both Mel and Skylr can receive their American FFA degrees at the National Convention in Indianapolis.”
Submitted by the Indian Lake school district.