Sonny Lopez-Hernandez, Kaybrie Nield, and Madisen Zollinger, of the Battle Mountain FFA Chapter, were awarded the Nevada FFA Degree at the 2021 Virtual Nevada FFA State Convention that was held March 17-19, 2021. The Nevada FFA Degree is the highest degree bestowed by the Nevada FFA Association and second to the nationally awarded American FFA Degree.

The Nevada FFA Degree recognizes FFA members who have received the Chapter degree, been active FFA members for at least two years, completed at least four semesters of agricultural science at or above the ninth-grade level, maintained a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program, demonstrated their leadership skills, and have shown a commitment to the FFA through involvement at the chapter level and above. These members have developed a Supervised Agricultural Experience, which is an entrepreneurial or work-based learning experience that relate to agriculture and have met the minimum investment or hourly time outside of the classroom. These FFA members were one of more than 10,000 FFA members nationwide to receive this esteemed degree.

Sonny Lopez is the oldest child of Sonny Lopez Mendoza and Maria Libier Lopez Hernandez and enjoys baking and creating his own recipes. He has been actively involved in FFA since his freshmen year and competed in Conduct of Chapter Meeting, Best Informed Greenhand, and the Vet Science Career Development Event. Sonny likes to attend the FFA leadership conferences to meet new people and create friendships. Sonny’s SAE consists of working at Etcheverry's Grocery Store where he has worked his way up to 1 of 4 Managers. After he graduates high school, he plans to take courses at GBC and earn a degree in Radiology. Sonny’s FFA experience has helped him learn to set goals, work hard, and have fun.

Kaybrie Nield is the oldest daughter of Brandon and Heather Nield. She enjoys playing basket-ball, volleyball, and track. She has been actively involved in FFA, serving as the chapter Vice President and competing at State Convention in the Conduct of Chapter meetings, Ag Issues Leadership Development Event, and the Vet Science Career Development Event. Kaybrie has attended several leadership conferences in FFA and the skills she has learned have helped her prepare for her future career in the medical field. Kaybrie’s current SAE is raising market hogs, market steers, and working at the local pizza shop, Mama’s Pizza.

Madisen Zollinger is the youngest of five children of Paul and Paula Tomera. She enjoys cheer-leading, painting art, and singing. She has been involved in FFA for three years and has competed on the Vet Science Career Development Event team. Madisen has also attended several of the leadership conferences that Nevada FFA offers and hopes to go to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, before she graduates. Her SAE consists of working on the family ranch in Battle Mountain where she helps with meadow haying and helps with the 2,000 head of cattle the family runs. Madisen’s goal after high school is to become a veterinary technician so her SAE is teaching her the skills she needs to be successful in her future career.

FFA gives students the opportunity to apply practical classroom knowledge to real world experiences through local, state and national competitions. For more information about the Nevada FFA, visit www.nvaged.nv.gov.