Each year, the Kentucky FFA Association gives “Distinguished Service Awards.”
This is the most prestigious honor the association can bestow on a person. Its given to those who spend years going above and beyond in giving back to the nearly 15,000 members that make up the Kentucky Association.
This year, we could not have honored three more deserving men.
The first was William B. Tolle.
If you show livestock in Kentucky then Bill Tolle has helped you out a lot over years.
The sale of the champion and reserve champion of each 4-H/FFA livestock market animal species raises thousands of dollars that go back to the exhibitors.
A percentage of sale monies are given to the exhibitors of the champions and reserve champions, another portion is divided amongst the rest of the show and a percentage is given to the Kentucky 4-H and the Kentucky FFA Association.
Most emotional for the audience, however, was the surprise presentations.
Only the Kentucky FFA executive secretary, Matt Chaliff, and the convention interns knew who the surprise award recipients were. It was a long week of keeping secrets and white lying but we’re proud to say they were both shocked by the honor.
Mr. Curt Lucas and Dr. Pete Driesbach have both work with Kentucky FFA on a state level.
Mr. Lucas serves as state adviser and has spent years working to not only protect but improve Kentucky’s agriculture education programs.
Mr. Lucas is known and loved for his long winded stories, attention to detail and sincere love for every member to ever wear a blue jacket.
Dr. Pete Driesbach is the director of the Kentucky FFA Leadership Training Center in Hardinsburg, Ky.
For over 25 years, Dr. Pete has been dedicated to training the next generation of FFA members.
The Leadership Training Center is our FFA Camp and a place for chapter members to network, team-build and train for their upcoming year of service to their chapter and years to come as future leaders in our society.
Though the Kentucky FFA Association is based in an office in Frankfort, Dr. Pete is always quick to point out that its heart and soul is in Hardinsburg.
As a state FFA officer, I had the privilege to work closely with all of these men. In their own subtle ways, each has made a tremendous impact on my life and the lives of thousands of Kentucky FFA members.
I can’t think of anyone who more deserves this honor or embodies the last line of the FFA motto: “Living to Serve.”