N. Dak. star farmer has FFA in his blood
Josh Stutrud bleeds FFA navy blue. The 2011 Rugby High School alumnus comes from an FFA family. His parents are Todd and Colleen Stutrud, Barton.
Both of his grandpas were in FFA, his dad was an ag teacher and FFA advisor in Willow City. His dad also achieved his State Farmer Degree when he was in FFA.
“Dad was a chapter president at Rugby High School and a state FFA officer,” said Stutrud.
“My dad and mom encouraged me in whatever I wanted to do, but my dad said that FFA will provide many different skills for life,” said Stutrud.
He was a member of the football and golf teams his freshman year of high school and he enjoyed the sports, but his real interest was in FFA and he decided to devote his time to that organization.
He joined FFA when he was in the eighth grade and set his goal early to achieve ND Star Farmer.
“I knew about the award from my grandpa and dad so I knew what I had to do,” said Stutrud.
He may have known about the award, but he still had to do the work to achieve it.
“If you work hard enough you can achieve anything within reason,” said Stutrud commenting on what he had learned from the experience.
He also credits good advisors who helped him reach his goal.
“Without my advisors, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish as much,” said Stutrud.
His advisor, Mr. Vannett, RHS, helped him reach his dream.
“Other advisors will work with you to help you achieve what you want,” added Stutrud.
Stutrud describes FFA as a youth program so that students can learn about all aspects of the farming process. Anyone can join, he or she does not have to grow up on a farm. Stutrud enjoys meeting people all over the state and country, he said.
FFA still means Future Farmers of America, but the name was changed in 1988 to The National FFA Organization to reflect the growing diversity of agriculture, according to ffa.org. The organization was started in 1928.
On his way to reach the goal of ND Star Farmer, he earned a few awards. Stutrud was a member of four State Champion Judging Teams, an Outstanding FFA member for the Rugby chapter, and received two State Champion Proficiency awards. He was a member of two National Judging Teams. In meat judging on the national level, the team received a gold and Stutrud received an Individual gold award, as well. These were the major awards he earned. He also earned several others.
Stutrud served as both student body president at RHS and vice president of Rugby’s FFA chapter in his senior year. He was a member of student council, and did many hours of community service. In his senior year he received his State FFA Degree after fulfilling all requirements.
Earning the title North Dakota State FFA Star Farmer makes him eligible to apply for his American Farmer Degree and then apply for the opportunity to become FFA Star Farmer over America. He plans to apply in three years and hopes to reach that goal, as well.
He continues to work on land owned by a friend who wanted to give him the opportunity to try his hand at farming. He entered into a labor exchange agreement with his family and does not get paid for his work.
In the meantime, Stutrud plans to attend North Dakota State University in Fargo and major in crop and weed science. He plans to get an agronomy-type job after college so he can buy land to someday farm.
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