Matthew Burdick of Blue Springs won the Missouri FFA Small Animal Production and Care Entrepreneurship and Placement Combined Proficiency Award at the 88th Missouri FFA Convention.

Matthew, a senior at Blue Springs South High School, is a member of the Blue Springs South FFA chapter. He is the son of Joyce Burdick and his FFA adviser is Craig Zwahlen.

Matthew's supervised agriculture experience program consists of breeding, showing and studying the genetics of Mini Rex Rabbits. He also works at his local Petland as a pet counselor and pet care technician. As a pet counselor, he meets with customers to find the right animal to fit the family’s needs. As a pet care technician, he feeds, bathes and administers medicine to the puppies. His main goal is to be able to supply students with high quality rabbits that will show well.

Matthew has attended Washington Leadership Conference and national FFA convention. He has competed in multiple speech contests, and also has served as area reporter and chapter president.

In addition to FFA, Matthew is a member of National Honor Society and DECA. After graduation, he plans to attend the University of Missouri-Columbia to pursue a degree in biochemistry and animal science. Matthew hopes to eventually own a veterinary practice.

Proficiency awards recognize FFA members who excel as agricultural entrepreneurs, employees or volunteers while gaining hands-on career experience. Small Animal Production and Care Proficiency is one of 48 proficiency award areas recognized at the state level. Grand Paws, LLC sponsored this award.