Six students from across the U.S. have been chosen by their peers to lead the National FFA Organization as national FFA officers in 2012-13; four more were selected for outstanding leadership and technical skills as Star Award winners.
At the conclusion of the 2012 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis Oct. 27, University of Florida at Gainesville student Clay Sapp was elected to serve as National FFA president.
"It will be my mission to activate change and growth in the National FFA Organization," he said. "I plan to develop strong relationships, be a champion of FFA and agricultural education and seek new ways to strengthen student experiences within FFA."
Joining Sapp on the 2012-13 National FFA Officer team are Kalie Hall of Georgia as national secretary, Joenelle Futrell of Kentucky as Eastern Region vice president, Lindsey Anderson of California as Western Region vice president, Brennan Costello of Nebraska as Central Region vice president and Wiley Bailey as Southern Region vice president.
For the next year, the group will travel more than 100,000 miles across the country to engage top leaders in business, government and education, and lead training seminars for FFA members. The team also will help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.
"It takes a highly motivated person to become a successful national FFA officer," said National FFA Organization CEO Dr. Dwight Armstrong. "It is an opportunity afforded to just a few of our members. As a national officer, the lives of these six individuals will be non-stop hard work with never-ending commitments where every moment counts."
Four Students Celebrate Star Award Wins
The National FFA Organization also on Oct. 27 announced the four winners of the prestigious American Star Awards.
The American Star Awards honor FFA members who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through their supervised agricultural experience; demonstrated management skills; and earned the American FFA Degree.
Eligible FFA members must also have met other agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements. A panel of judges who ultimately name the top candidate in each area interviews each finalist.
2012-13 winners are:
American Star Farmer: Clayton Carley – Cissna Park FFA Chapter – Illinois
American Star in Agribusiness: Bradley Weaver – Dawson County FFA Chapter – Georgia
American Star in Agricultural Placement: Kurt Parsons – Porterville FFA Chapter – California
American Star in Agriscience: Taylor Runyan – Atoka FFA Chapter – Oklahoma
Each winner of the four categories receives a total reward of $4,000 while the 12 national finalists in each division receive a $2,000 reward.