Winners of the 2014 National Agricultural Proficiency Awards were announced on Friday, Oct. 31 during the sixth general session at the 87th National FFA Convention & Expo. Awards were given in 49 categories.

Nursery Operations—Entrepreneurship/Placement Matthew George—Florida

Matthew George of the Trenton Senior FFA Chapter in Florida started helping his grandfather with his daylilies seven years ago. Since then, he has built 18 growing beds in his backyard to harvest his own daylilies. He has learned time management skills and the ability to boost customer satisfaction from his grandfather. In addition, George’s mother and grandmother have taught him bookkeeping. These factors have all influenced his own business, “Daylilies By George, LLC.” George is supported by parents Denny and Hallie George and FFA advisors Ashley Young and Heather Rucker. This award is sponsored RAM Trucks.

Small Animal Production and Care—Entrepreneurship/Placement Anastasia Sturgis—Florida

Anastasia Sturgis of the Orlando Colonial Senior FFA Chapter in Florida became interested in birds at 5 years old when her parents bought her a duckling. As a freshman in high school, Sturgis constructed numerous aviaries, obtained federal permits to breed endangered bird species, and perfected techniques to handle defensive and aggressive birds. She used these skills while working at a parrot rescue center to produce high quality exotic pet bird species from rescued macaws, conures, cockatoos, cockatiels, finches and lories. Sturgis hopes to pursue a career managing threatened avian and game bird species. She is supported by parents Gil and Renee Sturgis and FFA advisor Timothy App. This award is sponsored by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and Tractor Supply Company.

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About National FFA Organization

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 610,240 student members as part of 7,665 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. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at www.FFA.org, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.

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