LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014/87th National FFA Convention & Expo) – Sarah Cox was named the 2014 American Star in Agriscience today during the eighth general session of the National FFA Convention & Expo.
Cox claims her love of science and technology comes from her nuclear engineer and pharmacist parents.
The Ohioan has experimented in animal and food sciences through studies involving strawberry crown rot, African nightshade phytochemicals, hoof rot bacteria and soybeans. She has interned with The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center – The World Vegetable Center and the Thad Cochran Horticultural Center and worked with university professors at The Ohio State University and Purdue University.
Currently a student at Purdue University studying biological food processing and pharmaceutical engineering, she hopes to attend medical school and be a food process engineer.
“Through persistence and several gracious professors and researchers, I have had the opportunity to complete very prestigious research,” she said. “As each project progressed, I grew more confident in basic laboratory skills.”
Cox, 20, is a member of the Zane Trace FFA Chapter in Chillicothe, Ohio. Her advisors are Jennifer Johnston and Gary Peters. She is the daughter of Paul and Rachel Cox.
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 award is the most prestigious honor awarded to a student by the National FFA Organization.
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 United States are nominated for a panel of judges to interview during the 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 Stars Over America are sponsored by ADM Crop Risk Services, Case IH, DuPont Pioneer, Elanco, Farm Credit and Syngenta, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
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About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 579,678 student members as part of 7,570 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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