National FFA Organization CEO to receive honorary doctorate in agriculture degree from Purdue University

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Duane Brodt
Marketing and Communications
National FFA Organization

INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, May 7, 2013/National FFA Organization) – The chief executive officer of the National FFA Organization is one of 10 Purdue University graduates who will be awarded an honorary doctorate degree during the university’s May commencement ceremonies in West Lafayette.

Dr. Dwight Armstrong, who was named chief operating officer of the National FFA Organization in 2009 and today serves as CEO, will receive a doctor of agriculture degree May 11 during ceremonies at Purdue’s Elliott Hall of Music.

Originally from Kuttawa, Ky., Armstrong grew up on a small farm and graduated from Lyon County High School where he was an active FFA member. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Murray State University and both a master's and doctorate degree in animal science from Purdue University. He then joined the faculty at North Carolina State University in the animal sciences department where he taught swine nutrition, conducted research and performed extension work.

From 1982 to 2000, Armstrong progressed through various roles from director of nutrition and director of sales to president of Akey, a privately held animal nutrition solutions supplier in Lewisburg, Ohio. After the company was sold to Provimi in 2000, Armstrong was named CEO of North American Nutrition Companies, director of the Americas and vice president of the Global Group. In this role, he lived in the Netherlands, had operational responsibilities for Provimi's businesses in the Americas, France and Switzerland and served as a global innovation leader.

In 2008, he retired from Provimi and started his own consulting business with a focus on animal nutrition and agribusiness. A year later, he joined the National FFA Organization.

Armstrong has served on various industry, business and not-for-profit boards during his career, including the boards of the American Society of Animal Science, Animal Agricultural Alliance, American Feed Industry Association, the National FFA Foundation Sponsors' Board, Professional Services, Mathile Institute and Shoulder to Shoulder.

Armstrong has earned many awards and recognitions throughout his career, including a Distinguished Agricultural Alumni award from Purdue University, an American Society of Animal Science Fellow award, an Outstanding Agriculture Alumni award from Murray State University, an Honorary American FFA Degree and National VIP award from the National FFA Organization, a Distinguished Alumnus award from Murray State University and a Distinguished Service award from the American Feed Industry Association.

Armstrong and wife Judy have been married for 43 years, reside in Indianapolis and have two grown sons, Todd and Adam, and three grandchildren.

Other recipients of honorary doctorates from Purdue University include:

  • Kathy (Fitchey) Calvin of Ellicott City, Md., president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation
  • Jane Chance of Galveston, Texas, who is the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor Emerita of English at Rice University in Houston
  • Juan Ernesto de Bedout of Atlanta, Ga., former group president of Latin American Operations at Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • Anthony "Tony" Harris of Alameda, Calif., president and CEO of Campbell/Harris Security Equipment Co.
  • Vice Adm. Gerald L. Hoewing of Pensacola, Fla., who was the 53rd chief of naval personnel with the U.S. Navy
  • Laurence H. Hurley of Tucson, Ariz., the Howard J. Schaffer Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Arizona
  • David S. Leckrone of Silver Spring, Md., who worked as an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center for 40 years before retiring
  • Chris Stout of Kildeer, Ill., founding director of the Center for Global Initiatives and a licensed clinical psychologist
  • Thomas S. Wilmeth of Daingerfield, Texas, chairman of Scot Industries.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 557,318 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,498 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members as part of 7,498 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. 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. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.