|By JANE HOUIN
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An Ohio resident and Kentucky FFA alumnus will be one of only 10 individuals honored with a special VIP Citation from the National FFA Organization for making significant contributions to agricultural science education. Dwight Armstrong, Ph.D, from Kettering, Ohio, will be honored during an onstage presentation during the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.
Armstrong is the CEO of North American Nutrition of Lewisburg, Ohio, and he has served on the National FFA Foundation Sponsors Board for the past four years, serving as chair in 2005.
“When it comes to giving, my message has been consistent to everyone in the industry,” Armstrong said. “We have to be willing to support the opportunity for young people to experience leadership development and career training in the context of agricultural education if we expect further progress. Whether we support scholarship, career development events, proficiency awards or other specific events, we are making a positive difference in the lives of nearly 500,000 FFA members across the country.”
Armstrong is also a personal contributor to the National FFA Foundation and has annually contributed more than $1,000 to his home chapter in Kentucky. During his tenure with the Sponsors’ Board, he became aware of other sponsorship opportunities and together with his brothers, Randall and Jeff, decided to create a local scholarship that would provide long-term funding for students: the Ray Fowler/ Armstrong Family Scholarship, given to members who plan to pursue a degree in agriculture.
The brothers created the scholarship in honor of their former Lyon County FFA advisor Ray Fowler and their deceased mother, Joan Armstrong.
“This is truly a win-win situation,” Armstrong said. “We’re able to support students from our hometown community who plan to continue their education in agriculture while honoring two people who were so influential in our lives.”
All three brothers have always been deeply committed to agriculture. They grew up on a western Kentucky farm where they were involved in a diverse agricultural operation, including beef cow/calf production, sow to feeder pig production, hay and tobacco production, as well as custom hay and tobacco work.
As FFA members in the 1960s and 1970s, they held chapter and state FFA offices, achieved state and national team contest honors and earned chapter and state FFA degrees among other honors.
The brothers’ love for agriculture and skills developed through agricultural education and FFA served as a solid foundation for their successful careers.
Dwight received his Ph.D. in animal science from Purdue University in 1975. Prior to that, he received his B.S. in agriculture in 1971 from Murray State University and his M.S. in animal science from Purdue in 1973.
Armstrong also served on the staff at North Carolina State University, where he taught nutrition and swine management as well as conducted research on the nutritional needs of the young pig, He also has extension responsibility in swine nutrition.
In 1982, Armstrong joined Akey, a subsidiary of North American Nutrition Companies. During his tenure with the company, he has held responsibilities in the areas of nutrition, research and technical services prior to assuming his current position as CEO.
In 1992, he was an invited guest speaker at the first China Swine Industry Association Conference in Shenzhen, China. And in 1995, he was recognized as a Distinguished Agricultural Alumni by Purdue University.
Awards such as the VIP Citation recognize that FFA contributes to the mission of success by impacting students through the hard work and cooperation of dedicated individuals.
Without such strong and outstanding commitment, FFA would not be able to help build strong individuals of character in their members, who in turn build strong families, communities and industries.
“We have a vested interest in these young people,” Armstrong said. “Today’s FFA members are learning to be the employees, managers, suppliers and customers who will lead and succeed in tomorrow’s agricultural and food-manufacturing industries.”
Other VIP Citation recipients include David Skinner, executive director of Georgia Development Authority in Atlanta, Ga.; Drefus Williams, retired agriculture teacher in Sumter, S.C.; Will Lewis, director in Nashville, Tenn.; Dr. Robert Marshall, professor emeritus, University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.; Dr. Lewis Lauterbach of Osage, Iowa; Dr. Raleigh Jones (Jobes), consultant for AFARM Consulting in Stillwater, Okla.; Louis Horton (post-humously), agricultural educator from Elko, Nev.; Richard Barker, retired state FFA advisor from Wakefield, N.H.; and Dr. John Hillison, professor and department head at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
This farm news was published in the Oct. 18, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.