KEC and Solomon Corp sponsor State FFA Degree awards

May 8, 2018

Kansas Electric Cooperatives (KEC) and Solomon Corporation have a long history of supporting the Kansas FFA Association. Both organizations have been involved with the FFA for more than 30 years.

This year, the two organizations are co-sponsoring the State FFA Degree. It is the highest honor a state can bestow on a student, and only about 10 percent of FFA members earn the award. An estimated 300 Kansas youths will earn their State Degrees at the 90th Annual Kansas FFA Convention in Manhattan, Kansas, May 30 through June 1.

Solomon Chief Executive Officer Tom Hemmer was state FFA president in 1985. “We are delighted to join KEC in sponsoring the state FFA degree program. Both of our organizations are committed to the economic viability of rural communities in our state,” he said. “What better way to express that commitment than to support the next generation of leadership for rural Kansas? These FFA members have worked hard and achieved greatly and we are honored to support them.”

“The State FFA Degree recognizes the recipient’s dedication to agriculture and the community. KEC has been sponsoring this program for the past several decades because we recognize these young leaders are the key to the future and opportunities in rural Kansas,” said Bruce Graham, KEC Chief Executive Officer.

The FFA mission is “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.”

To earn the State Degree, students must complete eight minimum qualifications:

  • Hold the Chapter FFA Degree and be an active member of the FFA for at least two years
  • Complete the equivalent of at least two years of agricultural education
  • Participate in at least 10 parliamentary procedure motions
  • Give an oral presentation relating to agriculture or the FFA and serve as an officer and/or committee chairperson or as a participating member of a major committee
  • Work at least 600 hours or earn at least $2,000 via a supervised agricultural experience program
  • Demonstrate leadership ability in student, chapter, and community activities
  • Participate in at least eight different activities above the chapter level
  • Complete 25 hours of community service in at least two different community service activities

Solomon Corp and KEC formed an ongoing business alliance in June 2017 to provide utility equipment sales, repair, recycling, and other services. The organizations’ corporate values and missions align with supporting the community. Those shared values, along with a passion for the FFA mission, make co-sponsoring the State FFA Degree a logical extension of their partnership.