Georgia brings home 16 national winners from FFA convention
The Georgia FFA Association’s trip to the 92nd National FFA Convention in Indianapolis was highlighted by 16 national winners.
Among Georgia’s national winners were the American Star in Agriscience, two Career Development Event (CDE) winners, five national proficiency award winners, seven national Agriscience Fair winners and the nation’s Outstanding Middle School chapter. More than 67,000 FFA members from across the nation attended the convention.
Courtney Cameron, a member of the Lowndes County FFA Chapter in Valdosta, was named the 2019 American Star in Agrscience. More than 4,000 FFA members from across the nation received the American FFA Degree in 2019, including 177 from Georgia. From the class of 2019 recipients, the top four with Agriscience research-based Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) programs were named finalists for Star in Agriscience.
Cameron, along with the three other finalists interviewed before a panel of judges in Indianapolis, discussing her SAE that focused on nearly eight years of plant-based research about the tobacco mosaic virus and its impact on various vegetables. Cameron is a student at the University of Georgia. She is the daughter of John and Mary Beth Cameron, and her agricultural education teachers are Dr. James Corbett, Quinton Hadsock and Anglia Crosby.
Career Development Events (CDEs) and Leadership Development Events (LDEs) are team and individual competitive events designed to test students’ technical knowledge and ability in a variety of agricultural and leadership areas. Georgia’s 2019 national CDE champions include the Cambridge FFA (Agricultural Communications) and the Pelham FFA (Floriculture). Sarah Beth Waller (1st place individual), Taleen Hannah, Sarabeth Goud and Harrison Phillips comprised the team from the Cambridge chapter that bested 34 other teams to win the National Agricultural Communications CDE. The team’s advisors and agricultural education teachers are Sarah Nerswick and Mrs. Ashley White. Jacob Harper (3rd place individual), Thalik Hudson (5th place individual), Madison Barrett (7th place individual) and Mary Walton made up the Floriculture team from Pelham that bested 44 other teams to take top honors. Their FFA advisor and agricultural education teacher is Mr. Justin Sealy.
The Commerce Middle School FFA chapter was named the nation’s Outstanding Middle School chapter as part of the National Chapter Award program. Commerce Middle was one of five national finalists for the award, including Morgan County Middle, Northside Middle, West Laurens Middle and Youth Middle, all of Georgia. Each chapter had students make a presentation explaining their chapter’s activities in the Growing Leaders, Building Communities, and Strengthening Agriculture portions of the FFA Program of Activities. The agricultural education teacher and FFA Advisor at Commerce Middle is April Davis.
Chloe Lynch of the Island FFA (Agricultural Education), Jessica Brogdon of Walnut Grove FFA (Agricultural Sales – Placement), Duncan Patton of Madison County FFA (Beef Production – Placement), Dawson Peek of Lowndes County FFA (Outdoor Recreation), and Dylan Dent of Wayne County FFA (Poultry Production) were each named National FFA Proficiency Award winners for the success they earned in their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) programs. Only four students from across the nation are named national finalists in each of the 47 proficiency areas. Georgia was third in the nation with 21 national proficiency award finalists and second in the nation with five proficiency winners.
Georgia FFA’s seven winners in the national Agriscience Fair included Johnathan Rivers and Rylen Merce of Lowndes Middle FFA (Food Products & Processing – Division 2); Bethany Champion of Sonoraville FFA (Food Products & Processing – Division 3); Joseph Corbett and Cayden Mathews of Lowndes County FFA (Plant Systems – Division 4); Marin Lonnee of Oconee County FFA (Plant Systems – Division 5); Alexis Herring and Madison McDonald of Lowndes County FFA (Power, Structure & Technology – Division 6); Gracie Sutton and Jordan Brown of Lowndes County Middle FFA (Social Systems – Division 2); and Kaleb Bell of Berrien County FFA (Social Systems – Division 5). Georgia had a total of 32 national Agriscience Fair finalists who interviewed in Indianapolis.
Georgia also earned six additional top-5 finishes in National FFA Career Development Events at the Convention, including Page Paschal of Perry FFA, who won the 1st place individual in the Nursery/Landscape CDE.
Twenty-six Georgia FFA chapters received a national 3-Star ranking, the highest ranking offered in the National Chapter Award program.
Eight Georgians were recognized for their support of agricultural education and the FFA as part of the convention. Martin Bius (Bainbridge), Sen. Ellis Black (Valdosta), Shawn Collins (Moultrie), Mike Giles (Gainesville), Luann Jones (LaGrange), Tim Lewis (Elko), Russell Segers (Jasper), and Jerry Taylor (Hull) each received the Honorary American FFA Degree for the contributions they have made to the agricultural education program and FFA.
Georgia’s 177 American FFA Degree recipients are the most in the history of Georgia FFA. Less than 1% of FFA members nationwide receive the prestigious American FFA Degree.
The Georgia FFA Association was recognized as a membership growth state for the 21st consecutive year.
A complete set of results and a variety of highlights from the 92nd National FFA Convention can be found at www.georgiaffa.org/page.aspx?ID=47.