Date: December 7, 2012
SUBJECT: COLLEGE OF THE OZARKS PROFESSOR RECEIVES HONORARY FFA DEGREE
By: Haley Jones
College of the Ozarks agriculture professor Dr. Donn Russell was the recipient of the Honorary American FFA Degree at the 2012 National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Convention held in Indianapolis.
The Honorary American FFA Degree is the highest award given to individuals who have been involved with and provided service to the FFA organization. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Honorary State FFA Degree in 2003 and the Honorary Chapter Farmer Degree in 1979.
Dr. Russell has served as a professor of agriculture at College of the Ozarks for 13 years and has been involved with FFA since 1967.
He has served on the State of Missouri Joint Staff on Agriculture Education since 2000. Dr. Russell is the co-advisor for the college’s FFA chapter and coordinates the annual March FFA Workshop which draws approximately 2,500 high school students. He also has served as a judge for area FFA speech contests.
“One of my passions is teaching students to use the knowledge, skills, and talents they have in their career and in serving their Lord,” said Russell. While at the national convention, Dr. Russell attended a number of convention sessions and events with the Branson High School FFA students.
FFA is the largest student organization in the United States with approximately 550,000 members. The National FFA Convention hosted 50,000 people and is the largest convention in the country for high school students. Russell said, “FFA tries to produce well-rounded individuals who also believe in serving others; that fits well with the culture at College of the Ozarks.”