National FFA honors North Carolina Agriculture Supporter

Vern Hawkins receives a special VIP citation

INDIANAPOLIS – The National FFA Organization has selected Vern Hawkins of Greensboro, N.C., to receive a special VIP Citation for making significant contributions to agricultural education. The VIP Citation is one of the most prestigious awards a person may receive for supporting FFA and its programs. Hawkins was honored during an onstage presentation at the 84th National FFA Convention, held Oct. 19-22 in Indianapolis.

For the past four years, Hawkins has served on the National FFA Foundation Sponsors’ Board. His term included one year as board chairman. In addition, he served on the Foundation Board of Trustees. Hawkins has also been a driving force as an executive with Syngenta. He developed a retail partner program to provide FFA members with official jackets. Hawkins also developed an individual giving program for Syngenta employees to show their support for FFA.

The VIP Citation recognizes the dedicated individuals who contribute to the FFA mission of premier leadership, personal growth and career success through their hard work and cooperation. Without such strong and outstanding commitment, FFA would not be able to help build strong character in its members, who in turn build strong families, communities and industries.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 540,739 student members – all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture – as part of 7,489 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education. The 84th National FFA Convention is held Oct. 19-22, 2011 in Indianapolis, Ind., and will draw 50,000-plus FFA members, advisors and guests from across the country. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Visit for more information and follow us on Facebook, and Twitter and FFA Nation.