|The FFA Sentinel|
The 80th National FFA Convention was an exciting experience for thousands of FFA members from across the nation. There was an attendance of 54,731 members, advisors, parents and supporters who converged in Indianapolis, Ind. for the event at the end of October. Alabama had over 580 of the attendees participating in competitions, workshops, convention sessions and other activities.
Eufaula High School won first place in the Chevron Delo National Tractor Restoration Program. Eufaula FFA students and advisor, Buster Padgett, fully restored a 1946 Case DC tractor to original condition.
Noah Sims, an Alabama FFA member at Falkville High School, was selected the nation’s overall top winner of the prestigious Agricultural Mechanics Energy Systems Entrepreneurship Award. Sims was one of only four students from across the nation chosen to compete for this special award. After school each day, Noah constructed and repaired ammonia absorption refrigeration systems. His responsibilities have grown from just cleaning the refrigeration units to now designing, welding and fabricating them. For winning this award, Sims received a national plaque and $1,000. Noah’s advisor is Shane Bryan.
Bethany Lewis, another Alabama FFA member from Ashford High School, was one of only four students selected nationwide to compete in this year’s National Dairy Production competition. Bethany works at a dairy farm each day after school and is a third generation dairy farmer. In the beginning, she only helped with feeding the calves, but now she assists in managing the company’s records, oversees the animal health care program and assists with breeding management. In recognition of being selected a national finalist, Lewis received a $500 check during the convention.
We had several state-winning Career Development Event (CDE) Teams representing Alabama in National Competition. The following list identifies those teams and the results of their efforts. A special recognition goes to Richard Farrow and the Horseshoe Bend FFA Forestry Team for placing 2nd in the nation.
Ten FFA chapters in Alabama submitted applications for recognition in the National Chapter Awards Program. Those chapters are listed here alphabetically: Brantley HS FFA, East Lawrence HS FFA, Enterprise HS FFA, Eufaula HS FFA, Fort Payne HS FFA, Geraldine HS FFA, Montevallo HS FFA, New Brockton HS FFA, Pell City HS FFA and Speake HS FFA. This program allows chapters to receive recognition for their Program of Activities conducted throughout the year. Each of these chapters is very deserving of the recognition they have received. We have other chapters who do some great programs and don’t receive the recognition they deserve because the chapter officers don’t fill out an application.
The highest honor the National FFA Organization offers to its members is the American FFA Degree. This degree is bestowed upon members who meet certain criteria which substantiate their growth as a productive member of society. Honorary American Degrees are also awarded to teachers, superintendents, partners and others to recognize their support of the agriscience education program and FFA. Alabama’s recipients are listed above.
The Alabama FFA’s membership of 15,132 afforded the association 11 voting delegates to the National FFA Convention. The delegate process was an important part of the convention and concluded the debate on issues brought out in July at the State President’s Conference in Washington, D.C.
Four chapters from Alabama participated in the National FFA Talent Program. The Enterprise and Sylvania Chapters had quartets who performed at various functions during the national convention. The Montevallo and Sand Rock Chapters had string bands who performed at various functions as well as on stage at the National Talent Review.
The Albertville FFA Chapter was responsible for Alabama’s Hall of States Exhibit. The advisors of the Albertville Chapter are Phillip Williams and Heath Golden.
Kimberly Henderson, 2006-2007 State Sentinel from the Enterprise Chapter, was Alabama’s choice as a national officer candidate to go through the nominating committee process. Even though Kimberly was not selected as a national officer this year, we are still proud of her and wish her the best with her pursuit of a degree in agricultural communications from Auburn University.
Jacob Davis is Executive Secretary for the Alabama FFA Association.