Samuel Dively, a member of the Berlin Brothersvalley FFA Chapter, received national FFA recognition at the Eastern States Exposition (Big E) in Star Agricultural Placement for Dairy at Springfield, Mass., Sept. 15. The Big E Competition includes 18 Eastern states.
Dively, the son of David and Deidre Dively of Berlin, was graduated from Berlin Brothersvalley High School this past spring. His vocational agricultural teacher and FFA adviser is Dan Miller. His grandparents are Jean Dively and the late Bill Dively and Doyle and Donna Paul, all of Berlin.
Doyle Paul, a retired vocational agricultural instructor and FFA adviser in Berlin, served as his grandson's coach and traveled with him to Massachusetts. Paul taught at Berlin for 33 years and continues as the Young Farmer adviser there.
Dively's agricultural placement award (record book) progressed through several levels of competition since last year. First, he received a Gold Medal through Somerset County Record Book contest on the county level. Then, in addition to his Keystone Farmer Degree, he received a Bronze Medal through the Pennsylvania State Record Book contest and the Western Pennsylvania Star Farmer for Dairy Placement during the Pa. Farm Show in January.
He won this first round out of the 282 Keystone Degree recipients statewide who compete for this award in four separate regions — West, Southcentral, Eastern and Northern.
He then received the Pennsylvania State Star Farmer Dairy Placement at ACES FFA Conference in Hershey in February. He received the Pennsylvania State FFA Proficiency Award during FFA Week in June at Penn State University.
This is as far as Dively can go with Star Competition until he completes the American Farmer Degree that he will only be eligible for after being out of high school one year. He is planning to complete his American Farmer Degree for next year's convention in October at which time he has an opportunity to complete the national star farmer placement application.
The placement award category requires that an FFA member must be working in an agricultural business or a farm. For Dively, his work experience changed his life.
"I truly enjoy the farm work experience," said Dively, who works at Pennwood Farms outside of Berlin. "For me, it has been the best option."
Sam's oldest brother, Jacob, who was graduated from Berlin in 2006, also worked at Pennwood for his agricultural experience. However, Jacob entered the field of criminology and now works at Butler County Hospital's Department of Security.