Honorary FFA Degrees bestowed on two Volusia County Fair enthusiasts

Darla Borders & Billy Jones recognized for 15 years with Volusia County Fair in DeLand / Headline Surfer®DELAND -- Volusia County Fair Association Board President Billy Jones and administrative assistant Darla Borders received their State of Florida Honorary FFA Degrees at a ceremony at the Seventh General Session of the 86th Florida FFA State Convention & Expo.

“The Honorary State Degree is the highest honorary award presented by the state organization. Its purpose is to recognize "those individuals who greatly contribute to the advancement of the agricultural education and provide outstanding service to the FFA program," according to a letter co-signed by Ronnie Simmons, executive director of the Florida FFA Association, and by Megan Stein, state president of the Florida FFA Association.

Jones and Borders, each affilliated with the fair for 15 years now, were nominated for the state’s highest honor by the DeLand High School FFA Chapter, through that school’s agriculture teacher, Brett Brandner, at its annual banquet on May 10, at the Volusia County Fair & Expo Center, said John Owens, CFE marketing & event director for the Volusia County Fair & Expo Center. 

Additionally, Jones and Borders were inducted into the DeLand FFA Hall of Fame at the banquet, Owens said.

Volusia County Fair Executive Director David Viers was inducted into the DeLand FFA Hall of Fame and received his State of Florida FFA Degree during similar ceremonies last year.

Jones and Borders were formally recognized for their decade-and-a-half tenures thus far with the Volusia County Fair during the Florida FFA State Convention & Expo at the Caribe Royale in Orlando on July 3.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.