Knapp Boddiford, 19, a 2013 graduate of Southeast Bulloch High School, won his second national championship in two years during the 87th Annual National FFA Convention & Expo, Oct. 29–Nov. 1, in Louisville, Kentucky. He was one of four national finalists that competed in the Diversified Crop Placement Proficiency category, and he received $1,000 for his win. Though now in college, Boddiford still affiliates and competes under the SEBHS FFA Chapter.
He advanced to nationals after winning the state title at the Georgia FFA Convention in April. This summer, based on his written application, he was selected as one of four national finalists. Other finalists were from Texas, Kansas and Ohio. After competing in the event’s final phase, a face-to-face interview conducted during the National Convention, judges awarded him the national championship.
This was Boddiford’s second FFA national title in two years. He won the National Proficiency Award for Fiber and Oil Crop Production in 2013. In 2012 he also received his Master 4-H designation in Plant and Soil Science, an honor that advanced him to the National 4-H Congress, and he was selected for the Governor’s Honors Program in the area of Agriscience/Biotechnology.
He hopes to now pursue his American Degree from FFA. This is the highest achievement level in FFA. “Less than 2,000 members a year, out of a membership base of more than 600,000, ever achieve this status,” Boddiford said. He has already obtained his Green Hand, Chapter, and State Degrees from FFA.
The son of Joe Boddiford and Susan Boddiford, Knapp works on his father’s farm in Sylvania, and his uncle, Cliff Groover’s farm near Stilson. These two family-owned row crop operations have been in his parents’ families for more than three generations, and Knapp is looking forward to carrying on these legacies.
It was on these farms that he worked and began his national award-winning FFA supervised agricultural experience (SAE) projects in the ninth grade. Combined, the farms grew 2,100 acres of cotton and 850 acres of peanuts. Boddiford assisted with the many duties involved in producing row crops like spraying, planting, laying irrigation pipe, custom harvesting, supervising seasonal labor, and trapping feral hogs. He feels he has learned from his father’s and uncle’s management styles and now developed his own personal skill set.
Students can be involved in FFA until age 21 either with their high school chapter or a college chapter if available. Though the college he is attending has a FFA chapter, Boddiford choses to maintain his connection with SEBHS’s chapter. The Chapter is led by SEBHS’s Agriscience Teachers and FFA Advisors Susannah Lanier and Brian Elrick.
“They’ve (Lanier & Elrick) done so much for me,” he said. “FFA has helped prepare my public speaking and communication skills, and my high school ag classes, like ag mechanics, helped me learn more about welding.”
Currently, Boddiford is in his second year at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, where he is a plant science major. He will be transferring to the University of Georgia in the fall to obtain his degree in plant and environmental systems.
He was one of 15 national championships that Georgia FFA students brought home this year out of the 49 available event categories in Proficiency Awards, Career Development Events, and Agriscience Fair.