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November 01, 2012   Email to Friend 

STRONG STATE PRESENCE AT NATIONAL FFA CONVENTION ENCOURAGING FOR AGRICULTURE
Melissa Martin
(334) 612-5448
November 01, 2012

LEFT: FFA supporters from across Alabama had the opportunity to help pack meals for FFA’s “Rally to Fight Hunger” program in Indianapolis, Oct. 24-27. In three days, FFA members from across the nation packed more than 1 million meals. From left are Alabama Farmers Federation Young Farmers Director Jennifer Himburg; Alabama Department of Education Career and Technical Education Director Phillip Cleveland; Legislative Director for Gov. Robert Bentley, Blaine Galliher; Alabama Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey; State Rep. Jay Love, R-Montgomery; Baldwin County Board of Education member Tracy Roberts; Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan; and Federation Governmental and Agricultural Programs Assistant Director Brian Hardin.

RIGHT: Wiley Bailey of Cherokee County was elected to serve as Southern Region Vice President during the 85th National FFA Convention.

Agricultural and political leaders from across Alabama were among 56,000 individuals who displayed their support of agricultural education at the 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Oct. 24-27.

During the three-day event, FFA members from all 50 states participated in leadership, personal growth and career success training workshops. Attendees, including members of Alabama’s delegation, also participated in the “Rally to Fight Hunger” program, a new initiative which seeks to ultimately eliminate global hunger. Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey; State Rep. Jay Love, R-Montgomery; and Alabama Department of Education Career and Technical Education Director Phillip Cleveland were among those who helped fill 1 million bags of meals during the rally. Alabama Farmers Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan, Governmental and Agricultural Programs Assistant Director Brian Hardin and Young Farmers Director Jennifer Himburg also aided in the rally.

Himburg said she was encouraged by the enthusiasm Alabama’s leaders displayed during the convention.

“The Alabama Farmers Federation is deeply invested in agricultural education and FFA,” said Himburg. “FFA offers incredible opportunities for students, and the national convention is one of the places where students can see a much broader view of American agriculture. Sharing this message with our public officials is crucial, but allowing them to see for themselves the impact this organization makes across the country is truly eye-opening.”

During the convention’s closing ceremony, Cherokee County native Wiley Bailey was elected National FFA Southern Region vice president. The 14th national officer from Alabama since the organization was founded in 1928, Bailey said he was looking forward to sharing his love of agriculture and education during his term.

“I am overjoyed and excited to have the opportunity to take time to listen to others and genuinely care about their concerns,” said Bailey, an Auburn University student. “It is my goal to advocate for agricultural education and be a voice for members and production agriculturalists throughout the year.”

No stranger to leadership positions with FFA, Bailey has served as state secretary, North District president, North District treasurer and Sand Rock High School FFA chapter president.

Himburg said Bailey’s selection as Southern Region vice president is a testament to the state’s emphasis on agricultural and educational achievements.

“Wiley is a tremendous asset to Alabama agriculture, and we are excited to know he will represent both our state and more than a half-million FFA members next year,” she said. “His genuine love and concern for others will help him connect with students and leave an impact long after his year of service.”

Joining Bailey on the 2012-13 National FFA Officer team are President Clay Sapp of Florida, National Secretary Kalie Hall of Georgia, Eastern Region Vice President Joenelle Futrell of Kentucky, Western Region Vice President Lindsey Anderson of California and Central Region Vice President Brennan Costello of Nebraska.

For more information, or to view photos from the National FFA Convention, visit FFA.org.


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