August 2008
The Business of Farming

FFA Events to Remember:

Alabama National Fair
October 6 – 15, 2006 – Montgomery

National FFA Convention
October 25 – 28, 2006 – Indianapolis, Indiana

The FFA organization is known for developing youth leadership. Young people have experiences and training that help them to become the leaders of tomorrow. Much of this summer, for the Alabama FFA Association, has been spent providing leadership-building exercises for many FFA members.

The newly elected state officers started their leadership experience with Blast Off training, held in Montgomery from June 5-8, 2006. Blast Off is an intensive leadership-training course for state officers, which also included state officers of the various other Career/Tech student organizations. The officers received instruction on developing and delivering a speech, time management, written correspondence, building partner relationships, etc.

The Alabama FFA Officers with the trainers of the 2006 National Leadership Conference for State Officers. (From left) Jerika Buttram, State Treasurer; Salora Wright, State President; (rear l/r): Ryan Peterson, National FFA Eastern Region Vice President; Brandon Smith, State Secretary; Travis McGowin, State Vice President; Justin Posey, State Reporter; Caleb Colquitt, State Sentinel; and Erica Der, National FFA Southern Region Vice President.  
  Alabama District and State FFA Officers at the District Officers’ Leadership Conference in Columbiana on June 30 and July 1, 2006.
On June 15th, the state FFA officers met for training at the National Leadership Conference for State Officers (NLCSO) in Raymond, Mississippi, which is facilitated by the National FFA Officers. Alabama participates in NLCSO along with Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The state officers spent the better part of a week involved in leadership training exercises to prepare them to train other officers later in the month.

The state officers were invited to conduct workshops during the ALFA Youth Leadership Conference in Columbiana on June 23-25. The ALFA Young Farmers used this opportunity to share some fun activities with youth from all across the state, giving the officer team an opportunity to work with other students before their next training experience.

The District Officers Leadership Conference (DOLC) was held June 30 and July 1. DOLC is a training program that provides district FFA officers from the North, Central, and South with a leadership workshop. The district officers in turn prepare to conduct Chapter Officer Leadership Workshops (COLWs) in each of their respective districts. At least one COLW was held in each if the three districts in order to provide an opportunity for the officers of local chapters to come together and participate in leadership building activities. These workshops are usually a one-day activity held at a local school or community college within the district.

  State FFA Officers from across the United States posed with President George W. Bush. Salora Wright, Alabama State FFA President, and W. Brandon Smith, Alabama State FFA Secretary, were fortunate to participate in the forty-five minute meeting with the President.
Later this summer, Salora Wright, State FFA President and W. Brandon Smith, State FFA Secretary had the privilege of attending the State President’s Conference (SPC). This is a program where select state officers from around the nation converge on our nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C. While there, the national FFA officers and staff guided the young men and women through various activities and attractions in the city. The conference also facilitated scheduling and visiting with representatives from our state’s senators’ and representatives’ offices. The state officers also had the privilege of attending a forty-five minute meeting with President George W. Bush.

As you can tell, the FFA is an organization for youth that provides many experiences to its members that they might not ever have the opportunity to experience otherwise.

Jacob Davis is the Executive Secretary of the Alabama FFA Association.