Amy Jo Poffenberger: Top Young Ag Professional

Each year, the Frederick County Office of Economic Development (FCOED) partners with Frederick Magazine for Frederick’s Top 50 publication. The 2022 issue, released in January, features Frederick’s Top 50 Under 40. Homegrown Frederick wanted to take a similar approach and highlight the young entrepreneurs and leaders in the agriculture and craft beverage industries. The Homegrown Frederick magazine, released June 1, announces Frederick County’s Top Young Agricultural Professionals. Each week we will be highlighting these individuals so you can get to know them better.

Amy Jo Poffenberger, Agriculture Educator and FFA advisor at Catoctin High school, is named one of Frederick County’s Top Young Ag Professionals. She began her career in ag education with Frederick County back in 2005 and has been with Catoctin High School since 2009. Amy Jo is committed to educating her students on what agriculture is and how it affects their lives. She says, “I hope that the knowledge they gain in my classroom will help them to be informed consumers as they enter adulthood.”  At Catoctin, any student who is enrolled in an ag class is a member of their FFA chapter where she encourages them to be involved in events and activities outside the classroom. The Catoctin FFA chapter is visible in the community hosting an annual Ag Day at Sabillasville Elementary, facilitating demonstrations at the fair and sharing their knowledge at the Thurmont/Emmitsburg Community Show. During her time at Catoctin, Amy Jo has mentored three Maryland State FFA Officers and led over 20 students in achieving their American FFA Degree - which is the highest FFA honor awarded to students demonstrating their commitment to the organization and accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experience. This year Amy Jo is proud to announce she has five teams traveling to compete in events at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, two of her students will be earning their American FFA degree, and the Catoctin High School FFA will be nationally recognized as a two-star chapter. Of all the awards Amy Jo has received, she is most proud of the appreciation award presented to her by her students who have gone on to become Maryland State FFA Officers. She says, “These awards mean a lot to me because they came from students whom I worked hard to mentor, advise and encourage throughout their FFA career.”

Amy Jo spends much of her time volunteering with several organizations. Not only is Amy Jo the FFA advisor for Catoctin, but she has also been the Region 2 FFA Coordinator for the past seven years, and serves as the Frederick County representative on the Maryland FFA Board of Directors. Amy Jo is a member of the Frederick County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and is the chairperson for the Frederick County Safety Committee, which organizes a safety camp for children ages 8-13. This year due to COVID, they held a day camp in conjunction with an evening safety fair open to the public. The public safety fair included demonstrations and displays from Frederick County Fire and Rescue, the Sheriff’s Office and the Health Department, as well as animal and tractor safety and a live electrical demo from FirstEnergy. Amy Jo was also a member of the Frederick County Young Farmers where she held several leadership roles and is a lifetime member of the Frederick County Farm Museum, previously serving on their Board of Directors.

Amy Jo is quite a leading young woman in Frederick County’s agricultural community, and we are proud to honor her as one of Frederick County’s Top Young Ag Professionals. The full list can be found here. It is safe to say the local agricultural industry has a bright future ahead with young leaders like her at the helm. Be sure to congratulate Amy Jo on this well-deserved accolade!