Emily Rutledge, a sophomore at the University of North Georgia (UNG) and long-time member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA), received the American FFA Degree in Indianapolis, Indiana on Oct. 22 for her years of work and research in agri-science.
As one of the organization’s highest honors – given to less than one percent of members – the American FFA Degree is presented at the national convention each year to members who demonstrate the epitome of commitment to Future Farmers of America (FFA) with significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs).
Rutledge was one of 102 FFA members from the state of Georgia to receive the American-level degree, and one of the first two members from the Ola High School chapter in Ola, Georgia to ever receive the degree. Rutledge’s research was built upon her earlier work in high school that focused on the relationships between biochemistry and agriculture – it concentrated on rhizobia, a type of inoculant, or soil bacteria that encourages rising nitrogen levels to promote root system growth on corn plants.
Like Rutledge, others who received the American degree contributed work in six different categories covering animals, environmental resources, food production and processing, plant systems, and social, structural, and technical systems.