Emily Newman and Ryan Dougherty of the Prairiland FFA are recipients of the $20,000 Texas FFA Foundation Scholarship sponsored by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Newman will be attending Texas Tech University in the fall majoring in Human Sciences and then attend the Physician’s Assistant program after graduation. Throughout her four years in FFA, she was an officer every year starting as Greenhand Treasurer, then Chapter Reporter, and then served as Chapter President for the last 2 years. She was on the state qualifying Land Judging team for three years winning a top ten individual award at every area contest. Newman competed on the area qualifying Greenhand Chapter Conducting and Greenhand Quiz. She also advanced to state two years in a row, placing 3rd overall on the Agriculture Advocacy team. Emily has shown market hogs since she was in third grade, earning a spot in the premium sale every year. She competed in Prepared Public Speaking events every year and was also a part of the State Convention Courtesy Corps for the past 2 years.
Dougherty will be attending Tyler Junior College in the fall and majoring in Civil Engineering and minoring in Construction Management. Throughout his four years in FFA, Ryan has served as Greenhand President, Chapter Sentinel, Secretary, and Vice President. He has also served as Paris District Secretary and was an area officer candidate. Dougherty has qualified for state in the Forage Evaluation and Public Relations competitions, as well as competing on the area qualifying Greenhand Chapter conducting, Creed Speaking, Senior Skills, Ag Advocacy, and Quiz teams. Dougherty has served as a Texas FFA Foundation Ambassador for 2 years and was selected as a finalist for the Ford Leadership Scholars program. He has raised broilers since 3rd grade, earning 3 Grand Champions and 4 Reserve Champions, as well as participated in the Houston Livestock Show the past 4 years. Dougherty’s primary SAE has been an agriscience research project on reducing the sound levels of t-post drivers. Major accomplishments with this project include being selected as an International Science and Engineering Fair finalist, State Fair of Texas Reserve Champion, and earning 2 consecutive State and National FFA titles. In addition, he also advanced to area with his proficiency in agriscience, as well as being named a state finalist for the Star Lonestar in Agriscience.
Texas FFA awarded more than 140 scholarships to outstanding graduating seniors through its academic scholarship program. These scholarships are awarded based on academic and FFA achievements as well as the member’s performance in an interview process.
Academic Scholarships are set up in partnership with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Texas FFA Foundation partnership donors. These scholarships are awarded through the Texas FFA Association scholarship application process in the spring of each year.
These scholarships vary between $2,000 – $20,000 and are dispersed over multiple semesters of college. Students must enroll in a Texas institution and apply through their local, district and area FFA chapters.
The FFA is the largest national youth organization and currently has over 197,000 students enrolled in Agricultural Science courses and over 128,000 FFA members in Texas alone.
“Prairiland FFA is proud to say that we have 209 members in our program that is very diverse in its activities. It offers many opportunities for students to get involved ranging from public speaking, judging contests, showing, robotics, leadership contests and events, plant and animal sciences, wildlife, agriculture mechanics, ag science fair, and community service just to name a few. We try to provide students with the hands-on skills to help prepare them for the future. Whether they plan on being in the agricultural field or not, it’s important now more than ever to teach students about where these products come from, how it gets from the producer to consumer, and how to conserve and take care of our natural resources so that it will be here for generations to come. The FFA and Agriculture classes prepare students for the real world, how to engage in meaningful conversations about important topics, how to speak in front of an audience, as well as problem-solving skills through involvement in FFA events and classroom/lab scenarios. Emily and Ryan are both prime examples in the FFA of how hard work and dedication leads to success. We are very proud of them both, and wish them the best of luck in the future to come.”