Randall, Dwight, and Jeff Armstrong

Armstrong Brothers Personalize Individual Giving with Local Scholarship

Armstrong

For members of the Lyon County FFA Chapter in Kentucky, the generosity of brothers Randall, Dwight and Jeff Armstrong will be appreciated and put to good use for years to come. The Armstrongs, former Lyon County FFA members, are giving back to their hometown chapter through a $1,000 National FFA Foundation scholarship in honor of their FFA advisor, Mr. Ray Fowler, and deceased mother, Mrs. Joan Armstrong. The Ray Fowler/Armstrong Family Scholarship, awarded for the first time last fall, will be presented annually to a member who plans to pursue a college education and career in agriculture.

According to Randall, “The scholarship is a long-term commitment to FFA—both locally and nationally—to recognize the love and support we received from our mother and Mr. Fowler. It also allows us to give back to our local community and high school. We went to high school with the parents of the young lady who received our scholarship in 2005. It’s an honor to be able to help in this small way.”

The brothers have always been deeply committed to agriculture. They grew up on a western Kentucky farm where they were involved in a diverse agricultural operation including beef cow/calf production, sow to feeder pig production, hay and tobacco production as well as custom hay and tobacco work. As FFA members in the 1960s and 70s, they held chapter and state FFA offices, achieved state and national team contest honors, and earned chapter and state FFA degrees among other honors.

Their love for agriculture and skills developed through agricultural education and FFA served as a solid foundation for their successful careers.

“FFA prepared us by developing leadership and communication skills, building self-confidence, and teaching us how to work in a team environment,” said Jeff. “Mr. Fowler was a very positive influence in this regard. He demanded the best of his students and expected us to be high achievers and perform at the top in all events. Hard work, practice, and focus were key components of his style, but he also cared about us as individuals and human beings.”

Although the scholarship is fairly new, the brothers have been generous to FFA for quite some time. During Dwight’s tenure with the Sponsors’ Board he became aware of other sponsorship opportunities and together with his brothers decided to create a local scholarship that would provide long-term funding for students. They also saw it as an opportunity to pay tribute to their mother and FFA advisor, two people who were instrumental in their career and personal development.

“This is truly a win-win situation,” added Dwight. “We’re able to support students from our hometown community who plan to continue their education in agriculture while honoring two people that were so influential in our lives.” He continued, “When it comes to giving, my message has been consistent to everyone in the industry. We have to be willing to support the opportunity for young people to experience leadership development and career training in the context of agricultural education if we expect further progress. Whether we support scholarships, career development events, proficiency awards, or other specific events, we are making a positive difference in the lives of over 500,000 FFA members across the country.”