Published: Dec 04, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Dec 03, 2011 04:28 PM
Cary resident Dr. George C. Naderman Jr. traveled to his home state of Indiana to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree at the National FFA Organization convention in October. The award recognizes those who advance agricultural education and FFA through outstanding personal commitment.
Richard Brooks of Apex was also awarded the Honorary American FFA Degree in October for his work with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Soil and Water Conservation as a soil scientist.
Agricultural education and FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) have changed since Naderman first joined the group as a teenager in Westport, Ind. His agricultural education teacher encouraged him to first tour Purdue University and then apply to the school. After graduation, he served as an agronomist in Peru with the Peace Corps.
He joined the faculty of the N.C. Agricultural Extension Service in 1974 and prepared several revisions to the Land Judging Handbook. Naderman retired in 2001 but has continued to educate others about soil conservation.Q:
What is land judging?A:
Land judging is a competitive event that seeks to help a participant look at a piece of land, evaluate its characteristics and determine its most productive use. ...
With land judging, students can also evaluate the land for urban use, including septic tanks, constructing buildings or even landscaping. They might ask, "Is there any special environmental danger here?"Q:
One of the things you seem excited about is the large and diverse number of students taking part in FFA today. There are 18,643 FFA members in North Carolina today, the highest membership since 1980-81.A:
I am so excited about the half-million kids across America who may not even have any direct contact with a farm but still get involved. There are so many great leadership activities and very practical ideas that they can learn about through FFA. Students actually get to examine the soil with their hands and eyes.Q:
What are your hopes for the students who are in FFA?A:
I hope they find a connection to the land. It used to be that almost everybody had a family member who farmed the land. Now, people have to think back to a great-grandfather or farther. I hope the students learn what to demand in their food, in public policy and agricultural education.