The 2017-18 National FFA Officer team has been announced. The team includes students from Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky and Oklahoma:
- Breanna Holbert, an agricultural education major at California State University of Chico, was elected national president. Holbert is the first female African American elected to the office of president.
- Erica Baier, an agricultural education major at Iowa State University, was elected national secretary.
- Piper Merritt, an agricultural economics major at Oklahoma State University, was elected central region vice president.
- Bryce Cluff, an agricultural technology and management: education major at the University of Arizona, will serve as western region vice president.
- Ian Bennett, majoring in agriscience and environmental systems – plant breeding and genetics at the University of Georgia, was elected southern region vice president.
- Gracie Furnish, a career and technical education major at the University of Kentucky, will serve as eastern region vice president.
Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, six students are elected by delegates to represent the organization as national officers. Delegates elect a president, secretary, and vice presidents representing the central, southern, eastern, and western regions of the country. The event was held Oct. 25-28, 2017, in Indianapolis.
National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization. Each officer travels more than 100,000 national and international miles to interact with business and industry leaders, thousands of FFA members and teachers, corporate sponsors, government and education officials, state FFA leaders, the general public, and more. The team will lead personal growth and leadership training conferences for FFA members throughout the country and help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.
Four FFA members are honored with American Star Awards for outstanding accomplishments in FFA and agricultural education at the convention.
The American Star Awards, including American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience, are presented to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of a supervised agricultural experience.
Other requirements to achieve the award include demonstrating top management skills; completing key agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements; and earning an American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest level of student accomplishment.
Four are named winners and receive cash awards totaling $4,000. All American Star finalists receive a $2,000 cash award. Case IH, Elanco Animal Health and Syngenta sponsor the awards.
This year’s winners:
- Joseph Arnold of Holloway, Minn., is the 2017 American Star Farmer.
- Austin Nordyke, Hugoton, Kansas, is the 2017 American Star in Agribusiness.
- Kellie Einck, Paullina, Iowa, is the 2017 American Star in Agricultural Placement.
- Chrysta Beck, Archbold, Ohio, is the 2017 American Star in Agriscience.
National Chapter awards
The National Chapter Award program recognizes outstanding FFA chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization.
Chapters recognized included:
- The Marshall FFA Chapter from Missouri was named the 2017 National FFA Model of Excellence winner.
- Pittsfield, Illinois, FFA was named the 2017 National Premier Chapter: Building Communities winner.
- Barrington Middle FFA Chapter from Florida was named the 2017 National Premier Chapter: Strengthening Agriculture winner.
- Paris, Missouri, FFA Chapter was named the 2017 National Premier Chapter: Growing Leaders winner.
- West Jackson Middle FFA Chapter from Georgia was named the 2017 National FFA Middle School Model of Excellence winner.
Source: National FFA