Carrie Carlson of Lincolnville received the American FFA degree during the National FFA Convention Oct. 29 to 31 in Louisville, Kentucky. She was one of 56 members from Kansas who qualified for the honor.
The degree is the highest that can be earned as an FFA member. Carlson’s first step was earning the State FFA Degree as a junior in the Centre FFA chapter. She was a chapter officer her last three years in high school, serving as president and south central district vice president her senior year. After graduating in May 2013, she served as state FFA vice president.
During her high school years, Carlson developed a supervised agricultural experience in beef cattle production entrepreneurship. A steer her father gave her at age 12 was the springboard. One year after graduating from high school, Carlson had 36 head of cattle, which met the American degree requirement of an investment of $7,500 or more.
She was involved in beef production on the farm, where she swathed and baled hay and helped work cattle.
She said she learned the value of hard work, the importance of money management, how to make loans, and how to fill out tax forms.
Carlson also was required to perform 50 hours of community service. She coordinated blood drives at Centre High School, participated in roadside cleanup, and was involved in food drives and deliveries.
Her parents, Duane and Karen Carlson, were present when she received her degree in Louisville.
“We always were told that you need to attend the national convention at least once,” Karen Carlson said. “Now we understand why. It was so exciting. It was a huge place, and there was a lot of energy there.”
Carrie Carlson is a sophomore at Kansas State University, where she is pursuing degrees in food science and bakery science. The Carlsons have two older daughters who were active in FFA.