Ashley Bushman of Calmar recently was awarded the American FFA Degree at the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Ky.

Bushman, a graduate of South Winneshiek High School, earned her SAE record book award by working for her parents and owning her own dairy herd. She currently attends Northeast Iowa Community College and is double majoring in dairy science and ag business with an emphasis in dairy. 

Each year, the National FFA organization honors FFA members  who show the utmost 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 up on a select group of students in recognition of their years of academic and professional excellence. 

Sponsored by ADM Crop Risk Services, Case IH, DuPont Pioneer, Elanco, Farm Credit and Syngenta as a special project of the National FFA Foundation, the award recognizes demonstrated ability and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing or service programs. 

To be eligible, FFA members must have earned and productively invested $7,500 through a supervised agricultural experience program in which they start, own or hold a professional position in an existing agriculture enterprise. Recipients must also complete 50 hours community service and demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and civic involvement. 

Each of the 3,578 recipients of the American FFA Degree receives a gold American FFA Degree key and a certificate after being recognized on stage at that national convention. 

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 557,318 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,498 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.