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Stoppleworth takes FFA top prize

Ashley Stoppleworth

A Kindred, N.D., high school student took a top prize at the National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Convention Friday. Ashley Stoppleworth is the top placing individual in the challenging Agriculture Communications Career Development Event (CDE). Along with a cash prize, FFA sponsor DISH is awarding Stoppleworth with two years of dishNET high-speed

Internet service and DISH pay-TV service.

"Most kids I know can't get fast Internet service at their houses," said Stoppleworth. "We need the Internet to do well on school projects and just to stay in touch with what's going on in the world. It's great that there is finally a way for people outside of the cities to get fast Internet too."

The National FFA Communications CDE is a competitive event that tests students' skills in all areas of agricultural communications and evaluates how well they apply classroom skills to real-life situations. Participants attend a simulated news conference and use the information gathered to complete individual work in writing, digital media and design. Prior to the event, the competitors develop media plans. Each team also develops a 15-minute presentation based on their proposal. Stoppleworth beat out 45 other FFA members for the first place individual spot.

DISH's sponsorship of the National FFA Convention is part of the company's commitment to providing opportunity to rural America through access to high-speed Internet service. DISH's new satellite Internet service, dishNET, now offers high-speed access to under-served rural communities.

"Until recently, affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access was completely unavailable in large areas of the country. This gap in access left many families disconnected from critical education and business opportunities," said Brian McIntire, vice president of broadband at DISH. "We're thrilled to be a part of bringing access and opportunities to rural communities everywhere. The FFA students are a perfect example of the remarkable potential in rural America. We want to give them the tools they need."

Stoppleworth said slow and unreliable Internet access has been a challenge for kids in her county. "It's really frustrating to have slow Internet. I don't even know when it's going to work. II'm really excited about getting dishNET."