The 81st Annual Alabama FFA Convention was held June 2-4, 2010, at the Montgomery Renaissance and Convention Center. The opening session began at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Zachary Jones, 2008-2009 State FFA President, delivered the invocation. Mickey Humphries, State FFA Advisor, delivered a challenge to the members and advisors of the Alabama FFA Association. Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange welcomed the convention attendees. Alabama Ag Credit and Alabama Farm Credit, 2010 Corporate Sponsors of the Alabama FFA State Convention, brought greetings to the members, advisors and guests. Gary Kendrick, Alabama FFA Alumni President, brought greetings to the assembly and encouraged local chapters to start an alumni chapter, if they have not already. The 2009-10 District Officers and the 2010-11 State Officer Candidates were introduced. Justin Posey from Montevallo was introduced as Alabama’s National Officer Candidate. The Past State Officers Alumni recognized the 2010 Wall of Honor recipients. Patrick Grady was the keynote speaker for this session. He entertained the crowd with his hypnotist program.
The second session began at 7:30 p.m. National Chapter Award recipients were recognized along with the Top Five Chapters in the state. The State FFA Officers honored their parents and advisors. Corey Wilkins from the Holly Pond Chapter was named as the State Star Farmer. Numerous teachers and supporters were recognized by receiving the highest honor the Alabama FFA can bestow, the Honorary State FFA Degree. Hunter Garnett from the Danville Chapter was named as the Future Farmer/Agribusinessman of the Year. Ashley Holmes from the Falkville Chapter was named the recipient of the Mindy Stringer Memorial Scholarship worth $1,000. The Keel family presented the Hunter Keel Memorial Scholarship and Kacey Colquitt and Mary Helen Jones gave their retiring addresses.
Thursday, at 8:30 a.m., marked the opening of the third session. The Crime Prevention Awards were distributed recognizing the top chapters in the state with crime prevention activities included in their program of activities. Chapters which had 100 percent chapter membership were also recognized. The M.K. Heath Animal Health Award winner was recognized and Wiley Bailey and Joey Stabler gave their retiring addresses. CDE awards were given for the following areas: Agricultural Construction & Maintenance, Agricultural Mechanics, Creed Speaking, Dairy Cattle Evaluation, Extemporaneous Speaking, Floriculture, Forestry, Horse Evaluation, Land, Livestock, Nursery & Landscape, Parliamentary Procedure, Prepared Public Speaking, Poultry, Quiz Bowl, Safe Tractor Driving and Small Engines. Proficiency Awards were given for Agricultural Mechanics, Agricultural Sales and/or Service, Beef Production, Dairy Production, Diversified Crop Production, Environmental Science & Natural Resources Management, Equine Science, Floriculture, Forest Management, Fruit/Vegetable Production, Home and/or Community Development, Landscape Management, Nursery Operations, Poultry Production, Sheep Production, Specialty Animal Production, Swine Production, Turf Grass Management and Wildlife Management. Proficiency Awards were also given out in the following specialty proficiency areas: Agricultural Communications, Agricultural Education, Agricultural Processing, Diversified Livestock Production, Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production, Grain Production and Small Animal Production & Care. To close out the session, the top three quartets vied for top honors in our quartet competition. That afternoon, students also had an opportunity to attend various workshops by presenters from different supporters on a variety of topics from FFA Alumni to credit scores.
The fourth general session began promptly at 6 p.m. This session was changed from previous years to be a more fun and interactive session for the attendees. Awards were presented for the String Band Contest and the 1st Place String Band from Arab performed for the crowd. Chase Rose, National FFA Central Region Vice President from the Clyde Park, MT, FFA Chapter delivered his keynote address. Awards were given out to the top four quartets in the quartet competition. The Convention was also privileged to hear the harmony of the state winning quartet from the Oak Grove FFA Chapter. Then the session attendees were treated to a concert by Brinley Addington, an up-and-coming performer on the Nashville scene.
The fifth general session began at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. Patrick Howard and Hunter Garnett delivered their retiring addresses. Then the State Officers gave their end-of-the-year reports. About 167 FFA members from across the state received their State FFA Degrees during the State FFA Degree Ceremony. The parents and advisors of the state officers were recognized. The Convention closed with the installation of the 2010-2011 State FFA Officers. The state officers were assisted with the announcement of the new slate of officers by the Chair of the Nominating Committee Harold Barrow, an advisor from the Smiths Station FFA Chapter. The new State FFA Officers for the 2010-2011 school year are: President – Elizabeth Wilson, Jacksonville Chapter; Vice President – Jackson Harris, Eufaula Chapter; Secretary – Carley McWilliams, McAdory Chapter; Treasurer – Allison Meeks, Geraldine Chapter; Reporter – Becky Almquist, Enterprise Chapter; and Sentinel – Will Wright, Rogersville Chapter.
The new State Officer Team participated this summer in three training workshops. The first was the State Officer Leadership Training (SOLT) which was held at the Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel on June 7-8. This was a training workshop including all Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) in the training: FFA, FCCLA, HOSA, TSA, SkillsUSA, FBLA and DECA. During the SOLT Conference, the officers learned items like dinner etiquette, addressing a group and various other leadership activities.
The second was Blast Off. This was a leadership workshop conducted by a National FFA trainer held in Montgomery on June 9–11, at the Drury Inn and Suites. This training involved speech development and delivery, communication, being the brand, and various other leadership activities. The State FFA Officers then traveled to Daytona Beach, FL, to attend the National Leadership Conference for State Officers (NLCSO) on July 6-9. They were involved with a four-day training program conducted by two of the National FFA Officers. They will then be trained and ready to conduct and assist with the District Officers’ Leadership Conference and the Chapter Officer Leadership Workshops held in the three districts across this state. They will also have opportunities to meet with various public officials and become spokespersons for FFA and agriculture in the state of Alabama.
For a listing of the CDE results from our State Convention, please visit our website: http://www.alabamaffa.org.
Jacob Davis is Alabama’s FFA Executive Secretary.