The Daily Item
HARRISBURG — January 6 marked the day that three seniors and six freshman from the Selinsgrove FFA will remember for years to come. Jade Hoffman, Rebecca Lauver and Autumn Swartzlander were among 351 FFA students from across Pennsylvania that were awarded their Keystone Degree. This is the highest degree that the state can bestow on any of its members. Keystone Degree recipients must demonstrate that they have completed two or more years of agriculture education, they must operate and maintain a Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) project outside of class time, demonstrate leadership ability, document community service hours, have an outstanding scholastic record and be active members of their local FFA chapter.
Autumn Swartzlander, daughter of Scott and Melissa Swartzlander, of Middleburg, plans to attend Wilson College for a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology after graduation this spring. Autumn has competed in the state Veterinary Science Career Development Event (CDE) for three years. She has held the offices of sentinel, secretary and vice president of the Selinsgrove FFA Chapter. Autumn’s SAEs include working at Weis Markets in Selinsgrove and raising market goats that she shows at the Beaver Fair.
Rebecca Lauver, daughter of Roger and Cindy Lauver, of Selinsgrove, is the vice-president of the Selinsgrove FFA and the reporter of the SUN Area FFA Chapter. She enjoys working with all types of livestock and has kept SAE records on her show animals including swine, lambs, steers, goats and dairy beef. She has participated in livestock judging and several public speaking CDEs. Rebecca plans to attend Oklahoma State University next fall where she will major in animal sciences.
Jade Hoffman, daughter of Bill and Brenda Hoffman, of Freeburg, currently serves as the president of the Selinsgrove and SUN Area FFA Chapters. She has participated in the Veterinary Science Career Development Events (CDEs) and has SAEs which include working at Bella’s Pizza in Selinsgrove and volunteering at Patchwork Alpaca Farms in Freeburg. Jade plans to attend York College where she will major in radiography.
In addition to the Keystone Degree Ceremony, 354 first year members were presented with their own FFA jacket. The PA FFA Foundation and donors from across Pennsylvania sponsored jackets for members who answered the question “What does the FFA jacket mean to you”? The Selinsgrove FFA was awarded six jackets at the Farm Show. The recipients including Callie Heimbach, Cody Heimbach, Michael Huggins, Elizabeth Perkinson, Shanna Pretz and Kaylee Rishell would like to thank the following jacket sponsors: Byers Farm, Elk Haven Farm, Heimbach’s Country Store, the Nittany Antique Machinery Assn, the PA FFA Association and Snyder County Farm Bureau.