Drange and Kraft win FFA's highest award

Hannah Kraft
Spencer Drange

Spencer Drange and Hannah Kraft earned their American Degrees at the 90th FFA National Convention held recently in Indianapolis, Ind.
The American Degree is the highest degree an FFA member can receive. Only one other person from Laurel has ever earned this award and that was 73 years ago. Less than one percent of all FFA members earn this award.
Drange and Kraft graduated from Laurel High School in 2016 and were members of the Laurel FFA throughout high school. They were both on the 2016 State FFA Livestock judging team.
The qualifications for getting an American Degree are sweeping. Members must have received their State degree and been active in FFA the last three years. Conferees must have satisfactorily completed Ag classes in high school and one year of post high school education. Another requirement for getting the degree is to have run an agricultural operation under supervision and maintained records. The records must show each candidate earned at least $10,000 and productively invested $7,500, or earned and productively invested $2,000 and worked 2,250 hours in excess of scheduled class time. To be considered Kraft and Drange also had to have demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement and earned at least a C average in High School. Lastly, they had to perform 50 hours of community service with three projects or organizations.
Spencer Drange is currently attending Northwest College in Powell, Wyo., studying Farm and Ranch Management. He will graduate in 2018. He is a member of the school’s Skeet and Trap team. Drange is also an Ag ambassador, a student senate representative, a member in various clubs and is on the school’s curriculum committee. He was able to attend the FFA Convention and receive his award in person.
Drange has been busy helping with the new greenhouse the FFA Alumni Association is constructing at Laurel High School. When he graduates he will either go to work for the family business, Drange Apiary, or go to work for another beekeeper.
Kraft is currently attending Northwest College in Powell, Wyo., studying Agriculture Business. She will graduate in 2018. She is a member of the judging team and show team. Kraft was unable at attend the FFA Convention since she was competing in a livestock competition in Kanas for the college. She is the secretary/ treasurer of the Block and Bridle club at Northwest. After earning her associate’s degree she plans to either enter the work force or continue her education at the University of Wyoming.

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