Abigail Atkins, of Columbia City, Indiana, was selected as a national finalist for the 2015 National FFA Agricultural Proficiency Awards in the category of Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance – Placement. She is a freshman agribusiness and biology pre-med major.
Atkins is one of only four people chosen to compete for this award at the national finals held on Oct. 28-31 at the 88th National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.
“Being selected as a national finalist shows me that all my hard work has paid off,” Atkins said. “I cannot wait to represent Indiana, the Columbia City FFA chapter and Huntington University in Louisville in October!”
The FFA Proficiency Awards recognize outstanding student achievement in agribusiness gained through establishment of a new business, working for an existing company or otherwise gaining hands-on career experience. The Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance – Placement Award is one of 49 proficiency program areas FFA members can participate in to develop valuable experience and leadership skills at the local, state and national levels.
“We are proud of Abby’s accomplishment,” said Dr. Raymie Porter, associate professor of agriculture and director of the Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies. “Abby is a dedicated and purposeful person, so it doesn’t surprise me that this honor has come to her. We plan to take a number of other HU ag students to the National FFA Convention to cheer her on, as well as to experience the excitement of that great meeting.”
Atkins, a member of the Columbia City High School FFA Chapter, became eligible for the national award after winning the Indiana state FFA competition earlier this year. In recognition of being a finalist, each of the four finalists received a plaque and $500. The national winner of the Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance – Placement Award will receive an additional $500 during a special ceremony at the national FFA convention.
Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest, and Forbes.com has listed the university as one of America’s Best Colleges. Additionally, Princeton Review has named the institution a “Best Midwestern College.” Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The university is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).