MACON — A record crowd of more than 6,400 Future Farmers of America members, advisers and guests attended the 87th Georgia FFA Convention held April 23–25 in Macon.
FFA members from across the state gathered to celebrate the 2014-15 school year with award presentations, motivational speakers, official delegate business and community-service projects.
Attending from the Liberty County High School chapter were Jishaun Harris (junior), Marc Barnette (senior), Kayla Dargan (junior), Akeva McBride (junior), Kourtney Gamble (junior) and adviser Jeci Crane-Bohannon.
Attending the convention from the Bradwell Institute chapter were NyJeè Sykes (senior), Bobbie McDonald (junior), Taryn Rhodes (junior), Catherine Wood (senior) and Advisor Lindsey Guyett Martin.
During the convention, Wood was honored for her third-place State Proficiency Award in Veterinary Science and Dargan was honored for her second-place finish in the statewide Floral Design competition. McDonald received her state FFA degree as did Liberty’s Morgan Mitchell (not present).
On April 23, LCHS and Bradwell members joined more than 300 other members to help to paint a home for three citizens. The Liberty County youth helped clean up and paint the home of an elderly woman who has been facing severe health problems. The house has been badly damaged by weathering over the years. The homeowner was happy about the students donating their time to help. The service project ran in conjunction with the state convention.
The convention kicked off the first general session with a greeting from State School Superintendent Richard Woods. Events continued with a message from motivational speaker Harvey Alston. Students also listened to speakers Harvey Alston and Andy Paul. Opening night also included the recognition of FFA Foundation sponsors and the naming of the 2015 Stars Over Georgia.
Day 2 of the convention brought the presentation of state proficiency and career-development event awards, state-level CDE competition and the official delegate-business session. State FFA adviser John “Chip” Bridges and Georgia Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association President Todd Claxton added to the lineup of speakers at the convention. Paul, the national FFA president and former Georgia FFA president, explained to members that while the first step may seem to be difficult, pushing forward and diving into the second step often can be the hardest.
Day 3 began with the awarding of the State FFA degree to more than 600 students; the business meeting of the FFA Alumni Association; greetings from members of the 10-year past state-officer team; and the election of the 2015-16 state FFA officer team.
The Georgia FFA Association is the third-largest state association in the nation with more than 36,000 members in more than 280 chapters. For more information and to see complete convention results, go to www.georgiaffa.org or view the Convention Sessions at www.ihigh.com/gaffa. Follow the Georgia FFA on Twitter @GA_FFA or www.facebook.com/georgiaffa.