Editor’s Note: The RVHS Class of 2020 held its graduation ceremony May 31. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the community was not able to attend the ceremony. Over the next several editions, the Gazette will be bringing some of those graduates to you. This is your chance to meet the graduates. 

When Chad Maddock was in the eighth grade, he got involved in an organization that would have an impact on his entire high-school experience.

It was after finishing the eighth grade when Maddock transferred to Redwood Valley High School, and there he continued his participation in the program known as FFA.

“My older cousin, Brittany, said it was a lot of fun,” explained Maddock, adding the agriculture based activity fueled his passion in that area.

It has also helped to develop Maddock’s chosen career path.

“My future plans having to do with agriculture involve getting my ag education degree and continuing to build my sheep farm,” Maddock added.

As a member of the Redwood Valley FFA Chapter, Maddock has participated in a number of activities and events that have all shaped who he is. 

“I’ve competed in general livestock judging, crops, ag mechanics. I also showed sheep at state FFA sheep show. I’ve helped with corn drive, Ag Olympics and baby animal day. My favorite activity was attending state convention with my friends,” explained Maddock.

This year Maddock earned the highest award in FFA that a state can award - the state degree.

According to Maddock, the process begins with filling out a long application. That application and some extra criteria determines if one qualifies. His proficiency area has been in sheep production.

According to Lisa Orren, Redwood Valley High School ag educator and FFA chapter advisor, Minnesota recognized 299 students as state degree recipients this year.

“Chad has worked on growing his own show sheep for him and others to show at county and state fairs. He has worked heavily on providing quality nutrition, performing routine veterinary care procedures and selective breeding methods to ensure high quality sheep,” added Orren.

Through FFA, Maddock has developed skills such as organization, responsibility and patience, adding these skills can be applied to every aspect of his life. Maddock strives to do just that.

“My future plans having to do with agriculture involve getting my ag education degree and continuing to build my sheep farm,” added Maddock.

According to Maddock, it was his uncle who helped introduce him to sheep production.

“My uncle also has sheep, and he had me show his when I was younger. I like how they are shown, and I like how easy they are to handle compared to say cattle,” explained Maddock.

Maddock raises club lambs, and in addition to being an ag educator his goal is to continue to grow that part of his sheep flock.

The state FFA degree is given to the top members of a state FFA association, to receive a state FFA degree members must meet the requirements:

• Have received the chapter FFA degree.

• Have been an active FFA member for at least two years.

• While in school, have completed the equivalent of at least two years of systematic school instruction in agricultural education at or above the ninth grade level, which includes a supervised agricultural experience program.

• Have earned and productively invested at least $ 2,000 or worked at least 600 hours in excess of scheduled class time, or a combination thereof, in a supervised agricultural experience.

• Demonstrate leadership by performing 10 procedures of parliamentary law, giving a six-minute speech on a topic relating to agriculture or the FFA and serving as an officer and/or committee chairperson of a participating member of a chapter committee.

• Have a satisfactory scholastic record as certified by the agriculture instructor, principal or superintendent.

• Have participated in the planning and completion of chapter program of activities.

• Have participated in 10 different FFA activities above the chapter level.

• Have participated in at least 25 hours of community service, within at least two different community service activities. These hours are in addition to and cannot be duplicated as paid or unpaid SAE hours.