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Spotlight on Youth - Aug. 14, 2013
Farm Bureau honors Agriscience Innovation winners
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Four innovators in agriculture received monetary awards and research funding jointly presented by the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, an independent federal government agency, and the American Farm Bureau Federation. The awards honor scientists, educators and high school students for their contributions to science and research in agriculture. 

Michael P. Doyle, Ph.D., a University of Georgia Regents Professor and director at the Center for Food Safety, is the recipient of the $10,000 Distinguished Agriscience Scientist Award. Dr. Doyle’s research focuses on food safety and security. On issues related to the microbiological safety of foods, he works closely with government agencies, the food industry and consumer groups. 
Sara Clark, Ph.D., a teacher at Sonoraville High School in Calhoun, Ga., is the recipient of the $5,000 Agriscience Educator Award. As a secondary school teacher for 20 years, Dr. Clark encourages her students to explore the many fields of agriscience and find something that interests them. She uses methods such as inquiry-based learning, teaching others and self-directed learning to keep students engaged in the agriscience classroom. 

Two high school students were also honored for agriscience research. Jillian Drake and Kellie Einck each received $1,000 awards for individual research projects. 

Drake, a senior at Fallbrook Union High School in Fallbrook, Calif., concentrated her research on the plant pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter, which causes severe diseases in citrus trees and crops such as tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. She plans to continue her research at the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service laboratory. 

Einck, a junior at South O’Brien High School in Paullina, Iowa, concentrated her research on new developments in ethanol production. Her goal is to find the best combination of bacteria strains for optimal fermentation. 

Ft. Recovery FFA announces state finalists
FORT RECOVERY, Ohio — The Ft. Recovery FFA Chapter announces that Keith Fortkamp and Logan Jutte were both Ohio State FFA proficiency finalists.  

Fortkamp, son of Kevin and Sharon Fortkamp, applied for the Ag Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Proficiency Award for his employment at K & L Tractor Sales and Service and placed fourth in the state. Jutte, son of Eric and Gail Jutte, applied for the Fruit Production Proficiency Award for his strawberry crop and placed third in the state. Jutte also applied for the Landscape Management Proficiency Award for his employment at Jutte’s Fruit Farm and Landscaping and placed second in the state.

In order to apply for a proficiency award, the members were required to keep accurate records at their work experiences and fill out an extensive application.  This application included a resume, an employer’s statement, and pictures taken on the job site. 
Nine Fort Recovery FFA members, Randy Braun, Samantha Florence, Katie Fortkamp, Mitchell Lennartz, Grant Muhlenkamp, Nicole Nietfeld, Alex Stammen, Kaleb Timmerman and Samantha Tobe recently earned the State FFA Degree, the highest degree a member can receive from the state association.

To earn the degree, members needed to work more than 1,000 hours and have gross earnings of $4,000 or more, as well as be actively involved in chapter, school, and community activities. Traditionally, only two percent of Ohio’s FFA membership is awarded the State FFA Degree each year.  Eleven nine were awarded an Ohio plaque at the annual Fort Recovery FFA Banquet in recognition of the degree and a gold key was awarded at the 85th State FFA Convention held in Columbus, Ohio. 

In total, 35 members, two parent-chaperones, and two advisors of the Ft. Recovery FFA Chapter recently attended the  State FFA Convention in Columbus. Over 6,200 members representing 320 FFA Chapters across the state of Ohio were in attendance at the convention. The two-day trip was packed with convention sessions, skills contests, educational tours, and good fun. 

Between convention sessions, members could participate in a career show that featured nearly 50 exhibitors from agriculture, business, and education.