The National FFA Organization awarded Fred Perrin, New York Farm Bureau's director of member relations and field services, with its Honorary American FFA Degree. The organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, said this award is given to those who advance agriculture education and FFA through outstanding personal commitment. The Honorary American FFA Degree is an opportunity to recognize those who have gone beyond valuable daily contributions to make an extraordinary long-term difference in the lives of students, inspiring confidence in a new generation of agriculturists.
Members of the National FFA board of directors approved the nomination. Perrin, who is from Ogdensburg, N.Y., received the award in Indianapolis at the 85th National FFA Convention and Expo.
"Fred is certainly very deserving of this award, as he has been a lifelong participant, supporter, and advocate for the FFA effort," said Jeff Kirby, NYFB's executive director.
"This award means a great deal to me, since I was an FFA member in high school and earned the Empire Degree as a student. Being honored with the American Degree is very special to me. FFA gave me an opportunity to learn to express myself and develop the leadership qualities I have used in my entire career. I am grateful that as a Farm Bureau staff person I was able to give back to FFA a small part of what it has done for me," said Perrin.
Perrin began his NYFB career as a volunteer county leader while operating a dairy farm in Ogdensburg. Fred was active in the Young Farmer & Rancher Program, participating in the Discussion Meet Competition and serving on the State Young Farmer & Rancher Committee. He was hired as an NYFB field staff member in 1977, serving the northern New York counties for 18 years. Responsibilities during that time also included staff coordinator for the NYFB Women's Program, coordinator of the Young Farmer & Rancher Program, and field coordinator for membership. In 1996, Perrin was promoted to director of organization and field services. He now serves as the director of member relations and field services.