Submitted by Denair High School:
Bryson Prock recently became just the 15th person in the 91-year history of Denair High’s FFA chapter to earn the national organization’s prestigious American Degree.
Prock, a 2018 Denair graduate, was honored at the 2019 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis. He was one of a record 4,353 FFA members recognized as American FFA Degree recipients.
In addition to their degree certificate, each recipient receives a gold American FFA Degree key.
Less than 1% of the nearly 630,000 FFA members in the United States qualify for the award. According to the FFA website, only those members “who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA and made significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experiences” earn the American FFA Degree.
“It’s a good thing to put on your resume,” said Prock, 19, now a sophomore at Merced College. He hopes to transfer to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, next year with a major in ag systems management.
There are many steps to achieving the American Degree, including a supervised project. Prock’s was working at his family’s dairy east of Denair. Among his responsibilities were maintaining the bedding for the 600 milking cows, assisting with breeding and using his welding skills to repair various items.
In addition, Prock was deeply involved in FFA leadership during his time at Denair High, serving as president, vice president and treasurer. He was active in many activities, including showing animals and entering projects at the Stanislaus County Fair.
Prock is one of about 350 recipients from California and the third from Denair in the past five years. He joins Ken Carder (2016) and Carson Haringa (2018) among recent honorees.
“It’s an honor to receive the highest degree in FFA,” said Denair Principal Kara Backman. “Bryson is a great example of that degree.”
Prock’s grandfather, father and uncle all have been involved in the Future Farmers of America organization through the decades. They have devoted their lives to raising beef and dairy cattle.
Ray Prock Jr., Bryson’s father, earned an American Degree in 1993. At the time, he was the ninth recipient from Denair High.
“It’s a cool capstone to his FFA career,” said Prock Jr. of his son. Prock Jr., his wife Erica and daughter Brielle, a junior at Denair, all attended the national convention in Indianapolis to celebrate with Bryson.