CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator

Vol. 45, No. 25

April 11, 2011

Missouri FFA Holds 83rd Annual State Convention

Columbia will be abuzz this week with thousands of high school students in familiar blue jackets.  FFA members from across the state will convene April 14-15 for the 83rd annual Missouri FFA Convention, which is expected to draw more than 8,500 students and guests to the Hearnes Center at the University of Missouri.

“Be Bold…Wear the Blue, Earn the Gold!” is the theme for this year’s convention.  Members will participate in leadership workshops, elect new officers and honor their peers for outstanding achievement.  State FFA President Jon Black, a member of the Chillicothe chapter, will lead 652 delegates (two from each chapter) in official business sessions.

The state association will present Missouri FFA degrees to 752 members who, as a result of agricultural and leadership achievements, have qualified for the state’s highest FFA degree.  This is the largest number of state degrees Missouri FFA has ever presented.  State FFA membership is also at an all-time high of more than 25,077 members.

Missouri FFA continues to break its own records,” said Terry Heiman, agricultural education director at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  “We are seeing more students every year join the program, which helps prepare them for both college and careers and develops their potential to become extraordinary leaders.”

Members will receive awards in agricultural-proficiency areas (dairy production, food science and others) and in career-development events including agricultural sales, floriculture, horse judging and public speaking.  The State Star Farmer, the State Star in Agribusiness and the State Star in Placement will be named at the convention.

Missouri FFA will also present awards to several adults and groups for their support of agricultural education and FFA.  This year, 23 honorary state FFA degrees will be presented.  The association will also honor Charles E. Kruse with the Distinguished Service Citation.  A longtime advocate for FFA and career and technical education, Kruse has served as director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture and as president of Missouri Farm Bureau.