Shank third generation in family to earn American FFA Degree

November 08, 2005

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Ryan Shank, who lives near Hagerstown, received the American FFA Degree at the 78th National FFA Convention here on Oct. 29.

It is the highest degree awarded by the National FFA Organization and recognized Shank's "demonstrated leadership abilities and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing and service programs."

Fewer than one in 165 FFA members advance through their local chapter and state FFA degree programs to earn this national degree.

Shank, the son of Ralph and Terrie Shank of Hagerstown, is a junior at Delaware Valley College.

The dairy science major plans to assist his father with managing and operating the family farm along Wagaman Road upon graduation. Ryan Shank's supervised agricultural experience program in-volved his working on the family farm and owning of registered Ayrshire and Holstein cattle.


He exhibits his cattle at local, state and national shows. His Ayrshires have attained All-American status and his Holsteins have been recognized for their milk production and genetic merit.

At Delaware Valley College, Shank is vice president of the Collegiate FFA Chapter, a member of the Dairy Society serving as co-chairman of the Green and Gold Spectacular Sale, and an officer in Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity.

He is a third generation American FFA Degree recipient, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Ralph W. Shank, and his parents.

He is a member of the Clear Spring FFA Chapter and his advisers are Susan Lowery and Terrie Shank.

Ryan Shank received a gold American FFA Degree key, wallet ID card and a certificate to commemorate his earning the American FFA Degree. The recognition program is sponsored by BASF, Case IH, The Farm Credit System and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

The National FFA Convention is the nation's largest annual youth gathering. FFA is a national youth organization of 490,017 student members preparing for leadership careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture with 7,210 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

FFA strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

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