Charlie O'BrienCharlie O'Brien, who recently retired from his role as AEM's Sr. VP Ag Services, was awarded the Honorary American FFA degree for his support of both the organization and agricultural education for the benefit of the industry.

During his time with AEM, O'Brien worked closely with FFA to advocate for the agricultural industry and look for ways to provide opportunities for the future leaders. In addition to directing general financial support to FFA, O'Brien promoted the equipment manufacturing sector through sponsorships of job-specific programs like the Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems Career Development Event.  He also served on committees as a liaison to FFA to generate ideas on the future needs of the industry that could be best met through the work of the organization.

"I am humbled and honored to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree," said O'Brien. "I do hope in some small way I was able to convey my deep appreciation for everything FFA does for our future leaders. FFA is an extremely important organization for our industry, as it provides a path, background and experiences that lead members of FFA to varying positions of authority and responsibilities. This is vitally important, as our industry needs to continue to attract the 'best' that the next generation has to offer. Many of these future leaders belong to, and take advantage of everything FFA has to offer."

Each year, at the National FFA Convention & Expo, those who have made outstanding contributions to FFA are honored with Distinguished Service Citations, VIP awards or the Honorary American FFA Degree.

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