Tate Hunsinger, a Watkinsville native and University of Georgia junior, recently earned the highest honor in FFA. 

The agriculture business and agriculture applied economics student was one of only 152 Georgians who attained the 

FFA American Degreethis year. 

Hunsinger’s FFA journey began in middle school.

“I got really involved in 4-H when I was in fifth grade, and so I pretty much knew I was going to do [FFA] going into middle school,” Hunsinger said. 

He was drawn to the club because of an interest in agriculture and learning about where food comes from. The other draw for Hunsinger were the stories about farm life that he heard from his father.

“I kind of envied that lifestyle, and it inspired me to get involved,” he said.

In middle school, Hunsinger joined the nursery landscape team. In high school, he became a member of the meat judging, horse judging, dairy judging and the horticulture and landscape teams.

After graduation, Hunsinger thought his FFA career was over. 

“Getting out of high school, you don’t really think you’re ever going to compete again,” Hunsinger said. “But little did I know there were still opportunities out there.”

At the behest of advice from his mother,Hunsinger started putting his application togetherfor the special degree. 

The requirements were monumental. They included community service, leadership, completing an agricultural education program and conducting an “outstanding” supervised agricultural experience program. 

“It was a huge stepping stone between the State FFA Degree and the American Degree as far as number of hoursand level of activity,” Hunsinger said. 

Hunsinger attended the 94th National FFA Convention and Expoto get his degree. The best part was experiencing it with his parents. 

For more on this story, see the Nov. 18 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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