Mount Olive College Students Receive National FFA American Degrees

MOUNT OLIVE – Four University of Mount Olive students recently received the American FFA Degree at the 84th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. The American Degree is the highest degree awarded by the National FFA Organization and recognizes students who demonstrate leadership abilities and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing and service programs. Less than one in 154 FFA members advance through their local chapter and state FFA degree programs to earn this national degree.
“We were very excited to have four Agriculture Education students awarded the American Degree at the national FFA convention this year,” stated Dr. Sandy Maddox, director of the Agribusiness Center at MOC. “What this means is that more and more of the future’s leaders in agriculture education are electing to attend University of Mount Olive.”
Recipients of the American Degree awards were Kimberly Balance, a graduate of Pasquotank County High School in Pasquotank County;  Morgan Gay, a Community Christian  High School graduate from Edgecombe County, Jessica Gordon, an Eastern Randolph High School graduate from Randolph County; and Hannah Smith a graduate of Providence Grove High School from Randolph County.
The national FFA convention is the nation’s largest annual youth gathering, welcoming students, parents and educators from all across the United States. The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 523,309 student members (and counting)—all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture—as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.   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.
University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville.  For more information, visit
Pictured (L-R)  Kimberly Balance, Morgan Gay, Jessica Gordon  and Hannah Smith.