Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation Director Ruth Meirick was the recipient of the Minnesota FFA Association Honorary State Degree during a special ceremony as part of the state FFA Convention. 

The Minnesota FFA Association relies on the support of exceptional teachers, individuals and companies to provide life-changing experiences for its members. Individuals who have provided exceptional service on a state level to agriculture, agricultural education or FFA are eligible for the Honorary FFA Degree. Additionally, teachers who have created high-quality agricultural education programs which inspire and motivate their students to strive for success are eligible.

“To be able to give back over the years to the FFA was simple and important to me,” said Meirick. “At a young age FFA shaped my life. It provided me with mentors, opportunities, and the leadership skills I have used my entire life. And to now watch youth find their place, and the relationships I've developed with members and the state officer teams over the years is so valued.”  

Additional recipients of the Honorary Degrees for 2023 were: Nate and Shannon Kuball, Waterville; Brad and Jennifer Beckendorf, Renville; Eric and Angie Alberts, Pine Island; Chad and Sharon Lozinski, Clara City; Tracy and Jamie Johnson, Fertile; Deron and Cam Erickson, Morris; Sara and Chris Bullock, Cyrus; Jessica Daberkow, Heron Lake; Lara Durben, Buffalo; Paul Haberman, Slayton; Nathan Hanel, Mankato; Dr. Laura Hasselquist, Brookings, South Dakota State University; Lynn Ketelsen, Rochester; Jim Mesik, Norwood Young America; Dr. Vikram Mistry, Brookings, South Dakota State University; Bonita Oestreich, Ashby; Jacob Oyster, Sebeka; Nick Schiltz, Austin; Brian Schornack, New York Mills; John Schurb, Dawson Boyd; Ann Tauzell, Forest Lake; Tim Uhlenkamp, Willmar, and Gary Wertish, Minnesota Farmers Union.