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Joseph Nelson of Gilmer Recognized as a Ford Leadership Scholar

Nelson one of 10 Texas FFA Association students chosen to kick off year-long community service projects

(AUSTIN, Texas) – Dec. 9, 2021 – Members of the Texas FFA Association’s Ford Leadership Scholars Program are beginning their community service projects and apprentices for the school year, including Joseph Nelson of Gilmer. Through the Texas FFA Foundation and Texas FFA Association’s partnership with Ford Motor Company and Texas Ford Dealers, outstanding juniors heading into their senior year are chosen for the hands-on leadership program.

“The Ford Leadership Scholars program has grown immensely over the years and we’re thrilled to see the projects that our upcoming class have planned to benefit their community,” said Jennifer Jackson, Texas FFA Association executive director. “These 10 students are leaders in the making and we know that through the leadership skills learned, they will reach incredible heights.”

Nelson was chosen for the leadership program based on his passion for working hard, commitment to leading others towards a life worth living, and his work putting the “Living to Serve” mission into practice. Through his determination to represent the standard of sacrificial service he demonstrated an ability to positively impact not only FFA members but

everyone around him.

To be honored as a Ford Leadership Scholar is a true feat. More than one hundred Texas FFA members apply annually and are put through a rigorous interview process to pinpoint students who truly embody the FFA’s “Living to Serve” mission. Students like Nelson complete an online application, take an exam around assigned leadership text, conduct a telephone interview and are a part of a day-long behavioral interview as well.

What Does the Ford Leadership Scholars Program Entail?

The Ford Leadership Scholars program provides an extensive development experience for students through apprentice-type scenarios and interaction with nationally recognized leaders. During this time, students complete a year-long community service project to fill a need they see within their city from building greenhouses at their school to jumpstart agriculture education to hosting life skill classes for other teens and young adults. Chosen students also receive a $1,000 academic scholarship to support their education.

The 10 selected students all met the criteria of exemplifying six key characteristics of leadership: action, relationships, vision, character, awareness and continuous improvement. The next class of Ford Leadership Scholars will be chosen in the spring of 2022.

About The Texas FFA Association

The Texas FFA is a student organization for future leaders who use scientific, agricultural learning to solve real-world problems. Founded in 1929, today the organization is the nation’s largest state FFA association with over 137,530 members strong and facilitates more than $2.3 million in scholarships every year. Texas FFA gives students the opportunity to apply practical classroom knowledge to real-world experiences through local, state, and national competitions. For more information please visit

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