National FFA Organization honors Carhartt sales representative’s commitment to agricultural education

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Duane Brodt
Marketing and Communications
National FFA Organization

INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, Aug. 26, 2013/National FFA Organization) – Carhartt sales representative Gary Connell has been awarded a VIP citation by the National FFA Organization recognizing his significant contributions and dedication to FFA and agricultural education.

“Connell has been a huge supporter of the youth of West Virginia and throughout the nation by his many contributions,” said Connie Scarbrough, an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor from Buckhannon, W. Va., who nominated Connell for the award. “He has organized and managed Carhartt’s participation in the annual National FFA Convention & Expo since 1999. He has managed the Carhartt/FFA Grassroots State Officer Jacket Award and State Scholarship Sponsorship programs throughout the country.”

Connell was also cited for donating more than $40,000 of in-kind and out-of-pocket funds to the local FFA chapter for events and activities and raising funds for FFA and other youth groups through his barbeque business, Jaws BBQ. Connell is a life member of the National FFA Alumni Association.

“The VIP citation recognizes the dedicated individuals who contribute to the FFA mission of student success through their hard work and cooperation,” said National FFA Organization CEO Dwight Armstrong. "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 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.