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Maryville native Keiren Watkins is continuing his education at Northwest as an agricultural science major. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Maryville native Keiren Watkins is continuing his education at Northwest as an agricultural science major. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Nov. 12, 2021

Watkins is finalist for Agricultural Sales Proficiency Award

By Kourtnie Stenwall, communication assistant


Northwest Missouri State University student Keiren Watkins recently was named an FFA national finalist for an Agricultural Sales Proficiency Award, which honors FFA members who, through supervised agricultural experiences, have developed specialized skills they can apply toward their future careers.

“It’s definitely a huge honor,” Watkins, a freshman agricultural science major from Maryville, said. “I don’t think it’s really set in how big of a deal it is, but it’s pretty awesome to be part of the process. I’m really grateful to all my ag teachers and everybody who has helped me and given me advice and guidance.”

Watkins participated in FFA throughout his four years at Maryville High School. His interest in agriculture developed throughout his life, growing up on a farm and spending time around the chain of hardware stores his family owns.

For his supervised agricultural experience in entrepreneurship, Watkins ran a business selling peaches during summer. He obtained the peaches from an orchard and processed and sold them for a profit. Dillon Stiens, the FFA advisor at Northwest Technical School in Maryville, assisted Watkins throughout the process.

As a Northwest student, Watkins says he is enjoying the opportunity to build on his agricultural science knowledge and has received additional support from agriculture faculty, specifically Dr. Rod Barr, the director of Northwest’s School of Agricultural Sciences.

“Being recognized as an FFA Proficiency Award finalist is a tremendous honor,” Barr said. “It demonstrates Kieran’s dedication and effort with his supervised agricultural experience during his high school career.”

Agricultural Proficiency Awards allow students to compete nationally for awards in nearly 50 areas, ranging from agricultural communications to wildlife management. Proficiency awards are recognized at local and state levels, recognizing members who are exploring and becoming established in agricultural career pathways. Students apply for proficiency awards by writing short essays and winning regionals before proceeding to the finalist interview.

Watkins attended the National FFA Convention last month in Indianapolis for the award ceremony.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704