June 07, 2017
FFA students participate in the Fidget Farm obstacle course.
Over 1,500 students and advisers gathered in Montgomery for the 89th annual Alabama FFA State Convention June 7-9.
Yesterday, students competed in state career development events (CDEs); winners will be announced later this week. The Alabama Farmers Federation’s Jennifer Himburg said these competitions encourage students to get outside their comfort zones and hone critical professional development skills.
“The Alabama Farmers Federation has a long-standing partnership with FFA to invest in future leaders,” said Himburg, the Federation’s Young Farmers Division director. “Many of the students involved in FFA will go on to make valuable contributions to the agriculture industry.”
At the Federation’s career show booth, students maneuvered through a farm-themed obstacle course while balancing fidget spinners. Competitors with the 10 fastest times received Young Farmers beach towels.
Tyler Kelly, recent graduate of West Morgan High School in Trinity, said FFA involvement shaped his high school experience and made an impact that will last many years.
“FFA opened my eyes to the jobs in agriculture,” said Kelly, a four-year FFA member. “So many jobs in America are related to agriculture, and I hope to one day be a part of the industry.”
In today's opening address, National FFA President David Townsend encouraged attendees to cherish their uniqueness while analyzing advice from those who see the world differently.
“There has to be a balance between sharing our own ideas and seeking the viewpoints of others,” Townsend said. “Find someone who has an opposing viewpoint and listen to what they have to say. Listening is learning.”
In addition to CDE winner announcements, students at convention participate in workshops and explore the career show. New state officers will also be inducted Friday.
Today, inductees into the Wall of Honor included former Federation Executive Director John Dorrill, former Federation State Board member and DeKalb County Farmers Federation President Waymon Buttram, and Himburg.
State CDE winners will represent Alabama at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, in October.