July 02, 2018
By Morgan Graham
Cherokee and Plainsview FFA members talked with Federation staff about careers in agriculture during State FFA Convention. From left are Lauren Hall, Waylon Collins, the Federation’s Mac Higginbotham and Wiley Bailey, Madi McKay and Allen Haley.
A sea of national blue and corn gold swept the Capital City as over 1,300 students and advisers gathered for the 90th Alabama FFA State Convention June 6-8.
Students competed in state career development events (CDEs) during the annual meeting in Montgomery, sharpening their professional development skills and industry knowledge. The Alabama Farmers Federation’s Jennifer Christenberry said she enjoys watching students learn about agriculture, discover strengths and overcome weaknesses through FFA.
“The Alabama Farmers Federation has a long-standing partnership with FFA to invest in future agricultural leaders,” said Christenberry, the Federation’s Young Farmers Division director and a former National FFA officer. “The agricultural industry needs strong leaders, and that’s our goal — to create solid, knowledgeable leaders who will have a positive impact on the future of agriculture.”
FFA members participated in a quiz bowl and flew drones around a commodity-themed obstacle course at the Federation’s FFA career show booth. The booth highlighted technology’s role in modern agriculture.
Central High School of Clay County sophomore Russell Jordan said FFA taught him professional skills and ignited his enthusiasm for agriculture.
“FFA has given me the opportunity to expand and grow my passion for agriculture,” said Jordan, who credited his brother, Will, for laying his foundation in and love for FFA. “It also has allowed me to show cattle and be part of livestock judging. Through these outlets, I met people all around the U.S., and I will be forever grateful for that.”
Students also participated in convention workshops and received proficiency awards. Additionally, new state officers were inducted.
During the convention, Federation employees Nate Jaeger and David Cole were among those inducted into the FFA Wall of Honor. Jaeger is the Beef, Equine, Hay & Forage and Meat Goat & Sheep divisions director, while Cole is State Legislative Programs director for the House of Representatives. Cole was also presented an Honorary State FFA Degree, as was Federation Cotton, Soybean and Wheat & Feed Grain Divisions Director Carla Hornady.
State winners will represent Alabama at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, in October.