INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, Aug. 28, 2015/National FFA Organization) – As long as he can remember, agriculture has played a role in William Woodworth's life. Being a fifth-generation farmer, the Burlington, W.Va., resident says agriculture is part of his heritage. More than his heritage, however, Woodworth says that agriculture has become a great passion of his and his experiences have helped him develop into the person he is today.
Today, the passion he has for agriculture has resulted in Woodworth being named a 2015 finalist for the American Star in Agricultural Placement award, one of the most prestigious honors awarded to a student by the National FFA Organization.
Woodworth got involved in agriculture at a young age; once he entered high school, he became involved in FFA. He credits his involvement in FFA for his interest in the meat industry. Studying the meat industry through the meats career development event offered by FFA ignited his interest in the meat processing part of Flying W Farms, a diverse farm operation consisting of a slaughterhouse, processing plant and a retail store for direct marketing.
When he first began at Flying W Farms, Woodworth performed basic duties such as placing retail cuts into vacuum bags, running the vacuum packager and labeling the end product. He eventually was given more responsibility in processing and soon was taught the basic daily operations and the advance processes of breaking and fabricating carcasses into retails cuts for consumers.
Currently studying livestock science at The Ohio State University-ATI, Woodworth says his experience in FFA as well as his work at Flying W Farms has increased his agricultural knowledge and helped in his confidence to pursue a career in production farming.
Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, four FFA members are honored with an American Star Award for outstanding accomplishments in FFA and agricultural education.
The American Star Awards, including the American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience, are awarded to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of a supervised agricultural experience program. A required activity in FFA, an SAE allows students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.
Other requirements to achieve the award include demonstrating top management skills; completing key agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements; and earning an American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest level of student accomplishment.
Sixteen American Star Award finalists from throughout the U.S. are nominated by a panel of judges to interview during the national convention and expo. Four are named winners and receive cash awards totaling $4,000. All American Star finalists receive a $2,000 cash award. The American Star Awards are sponsored by ADM Crop Risk Services, Case IH, Elanco, Farm Credit and Syngenta as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
Judging will occur in Louisville, Ky., during the 88th National FFA Convention & Expo, Oct. 28-31, with the winner being announced during an onstage ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 29.
Woodworth is the son of Richard and Margaret Woodworth. He is a member of the Mineral County FFA Chapter, led by Charles Bennett, Julie Sions, Carol Webb and John Ritchie.
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 610,240 student members who belong to one of 7,665 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 629,367 student members as part of 7,757 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
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About National FFA Foundation
The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees comprised of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA alumni, the foundation is a separately-registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of every dollar received by the foundation supports FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit