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Gila Ridge alumni receiving American FFA Degree

Gila Ridge High School alumni Taylor Van Why, Fernando Olivas, McKenna Good and Michayla Martinich have been chosen to receive the 2018 American FFA Degree.

All four recipients graduated from Gila Ridge in 2017. They will receive their honor at the 91st National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana on Oct. 26, 2018.

“We here are Gila Ridge FFA are extremely proud of each of these students,” Gila Ridge FFA Advisors, Danielle Duran and Shelby Stoner said in a statement.

“Only 1 percent of all FFA members reach this level, so it is truly an honor and a capstone to their FFA careers, Duran added. “These students serve as role models for the younger members and serve as an example of the greatest award an FFA member can achieve.”

When asked about the accomplishment, Stoner explained: “Achieving this award is not an easy task. Over the past five years they have kept detailed financial records of their individualized SAE project, and journaled records of their FFA accomplishments and involvement in community service.”

According to, the American FFA Degree is awarded to members who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA and made significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs). An additional requirement is that students be out of high school for at least seven months.

The American FFA Degree is awarded at the National FFA Convention & Expo and is one of the organization’s highest honors. In addition to their degree, each recipient receives a gold American FFA Degree key.

Gila Ridge alumna McKenna Mellon was awarded the American FFA Degree at the 2017 convention.

FFA Degree Collage   

James Kuzniak