Rigby youth earns a 1st at National FFA Convention

Kathy Corgatelli NeVille / for Farm & Ranch
Margaret Mackin-Kagel, of Rigby, gives a presentation in February before judges Susan and J.R. Henderson, owners of All Things Automotive and Diesel, in Idaho Falls. The 18-year-old Boise State University student won the Natural Resources and Environmental Proficiency Award last week at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.

Margaret Mackin-Kagel, of Rigby, won the Natural Resources and Environmental Proficiency Award at the National FFA Convention and Expo last week in Indianapolis.

Mackin-Kagel, 18 and a freshman at Boise State University, was among 600,000 other FFA members who competed from around the nation, said her dad, Ray Kagel, of Rigby.

The first step was completing an extensive application, which was reviewed by about 100 people, she said. That was followed up by an interview where she was among four individuals from around the country chosen to compete at the national convention. She and the others each received $500 and a plaque, according to the National FFA website.

One of the requirements was to work a certain amount of time in the natural resources field. She worked at her parent’s Rigby business to prepare. Her parents are Ray and Susan Kagel. Following an interview by a panel of about six judges, she was selected, she said, and received another $500 and a plaque, according to the national FFA website.

“It was a huge honor to be chosen as one of four finalists and it was a tremendous honor to win,” she said. “I worked very hard for my award and was very excited to win it.”

There are about 50 areas in which members can compete for awards through Supervised Agriculture Experiences, where students develop specialized skills to apply towards a career, according to the FFA website.

In 2016, Mackin-Kagel won fourth place at state in sales presentation and in 2017 she won second in sales presentation. She was a member of the Rigby High School FFA chapter for three years.

Although she hasn’t chosen a major yet, she’s interested in sales, science and natural resources.