Pocahontas County High School senior and FFA president Kindra Carr recently received the exciting news that she will receive the FFA State Degree – the highest degree the state association awards.
When rumors began circulating that a couple applicants did not receive the State Degree, Carr worried she was one of them.
“I heard they had two people out of the whole state that didn’t make it, so there was a little bit of doubt,” she said. “I thought, ‘oh no, I might not get it.’ Then Mr. [Erwin] Berry called me and said, ‘you might have to – go to Cedar Lakes and get your State Degree.’ I was so happy. All this hard work paid off.”
Receiving a State Degree is no easy task. Carr is the first PCHS student in a decade to be awarded the honor.
“To be able to apply for your State Degree, you have to have so many hours of working on the farm,” Carr said. “You have to be able to have a profit of at least $1,000, and you have to have so much expense in your income. I’ve got chickens and pigs and goats, and I’ve kept records ever since I was a freshman.”
Her efforts these past four years have paid off, in more ways than one. Along with the high honor of the State Degree, Carr has become more sociable, a leader in her school and a strong competitor. Carr joined FFA her freshman year and rose through the ranks to become president.
For some, the extra training for the FFA program and competitions would be a chore, but for Carr, it’s fun.
“Whenever you’re in FFA, you’re around so many new people,” she said. “I love whenever we get to do competitions because you get to learn so many new things. I’m going to be on the poultry team this year and I’ve learned so many things I didn’t even know about chickens just from being on the team.
“You grow as a person – getting to experience new things,” she continued. “It’s helped me a lot. Whenever I was a freshman, I wasn’t talkative at all and now I can walk up to anybody and start a conversation.”
At the recent regional competition, Carr won first place in extemporaneous speaking. She competed at the state level this summer at Cedar Lakes. Carr has competed at the state level, but never moved on to the national competition. She has, however, attended national conferences.
“My first year we went to Indiana,” she said. “We pretty much toured that whole place. We went to the career show, the shopping mall and then we went to the rodeo. We went to so many sessions which had all the national officers.”
The national convention will be in Louisville, Kentucky, this year.
Carr has a few months before she officially receives her State Degree and her excitement level hasn’t decreased since she first heard the news.
“Just to walk across that stage and get my State Degree in front of the whole state, it’s just an unbelievable experience,” she said. “All the state officers and the state advisor, and Walt Helmick will be there. I’m so excited.”
After she graduates from PCHS, Carr plans to continue her pursuit of the agriculture field with an associate’s degree from Potomac State College, followed by an agriculture education degree from West Virginia University.
Carr wants to follow in the footsteps of her agriculture teachers who helped her become the ag-savvy person she is today.
“I want to teach agriculture,” she said. “If it wouldn’t have been for Mrs. [Sammantha] Bartley and Mr. Berry, I wouldn’t have ever been as far as I am. I owe them a lot of thanks and a lot of gratitude.”
Carr is the daughter of Brent and Treana Carr, of Arbovale.