Sidney High School alumnus Bradley Burden (SHS ’16), a member of the Sidney FFA chapter, was awarded the American FFA Degree at the 90th National FFA Convention & Expo on October 28, 2017, in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is the first recipient of the American Degree from Sidney High School since the agricultural education program was restarted five years ago.
Each year, the National FFA Organization honors FFA members who show dedication to the organization through their desire to develop their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
The American FFA Degree is bestowed upon a select group of students in recognition of their years of academic and professional excellence. This year 4,071 American Degrees were awarded.
Sponsored by Case IH, Elanco Animal Health, and Syngenta, the award recognizes demonstrated ability and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, and processing or service programs.
To be eligible, FFA members must have earned and productively invested $10,000 through a supervised agricultural experience program in which they start, own or hold a professional position in an existing agricultural enterprise. Recipients must also complete 50 hours community service and demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and civic involvement.
An agricultural education program is made up of three integrated parts: classroom instruction, FFA and a supervised agricultural experience (SAE). Burden’s SAE project, which started as a part of his Vo AG experiences while attending SHS, included raising show cattle & market swine for three years and a working on a show cattle farm during his time in the FFA.
Each recipient of the American FFA Degree receives a gold American FFA Degree key, certificate, and matted frame after being recognized on stage at the national convention.
Burden has continued his interest in agriculture from high school into college. He is currently majoring in Ag Business with a minor in Accounting at Wilmington College. Burden is the son of Tim and Jill Burden of Sidney.