The Alabama FFA Association and the National FFA Organization will celebrate National FFA Week, February 21-28, 2009. The theme this year, "Step Up/Stand Out," embodies all the best about FFA members, from the most recognizable symbol of the organization, the blue corduroy jacket — a symbol of pride and tradition, to the bright future of agriculture and the traditions of leadership and hard work.
More than half a million members around the nation, including over 15,000 in Alabama, will participate in FFA Week activities at the local and state level. The focus of National FFA Week is to tell America about the great opportunities available in agriscience education for all youth. With its beginnings in 1928 as the Future Farmers of America (FFA), the National FFA Organization today reaches out to all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Alabama FFA Association was chartered in 1929. FFA is committed to developing character and leadership skills and preparing members for a lifetime of civic leadership and career success. FFA members have opportunities to attend national leadership conferences, develop a supervised learning project, learn life skills and serve their communities with service projects.
Through classroom instruction and hands-on learning, agriscience education and FFA are making a positive difference in the lives of students everyday. FFA members are the leaders of tomorrow. They are our future engineers, scientists, teachers and producers. Students may earn awards and recognition and educational scholarships to pursue their career goals.
For Alabama chapters, that focus on the future showed last fall when 584 state members joined more than 57,000 members, advisors and supporters at the 81st national convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. The state delegation had competitors involved in 12 different career development events (CDE).
The Eufaula FFA Chapter’s restored 1946 Case A model tractor captured first place at the convention, defeating nine other teams from across the United States in the restoration contest. Noah Sims of the Falkville FFA Chapter was selected as the national proficiency winner for Agriculture Mechanics Energy Systems. The Horse Shoe Bend FFA Chapter’s forestry team placed second in the nation.
Alabama’s current state officers are: President Zachary Jones, Spring Garden FFA; Vice-President Brandy Feltman, Oakman FFA; Secretary Michelle Vasbinder, Enterprise FFA; Treasurer Raven Buchanan, Wilcox-Central FFA; Reporter Clifford Brown, Marbury FFA and Sentinel Anna Leigh Peek, West Limestone FFA.
One of every five Americans is employed in the critical food, fiber and natural resources industries of agriculture, and former FFA members and supporters serve in these essential careers. Today, more than 300 career opportunities are available to students through agriscience education. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership,
personal growth and career success through agricultural education. For more information about the Alabama FFA Association, visit their website at http://www.alabamaffa.org or the National FFA Organization’s website at http://www.ffa.org.
Did You Know?
• FFA chapters are in 15 of the 20 largest U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.
• The 2007 National FFA Convention was host to 53,631 FFA members, advisors and supporters.
• The shortage of qualified agriscience teachers is the greatest challenge facing FFA and agriscience education.
• Agriculture is the nation’s largest employer, with more than 24 million people working in some area of the industry. FFA prepares members for more than 300 careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.