More than 1200 students, teachers and guests from throughout New York descended upon the Vernon Verona Sherrill community to participate in the New York State FFA Convention on May 3-5, 2012. The Oneida County destination was filled with teenagers participating in leadership and agricultural competitions, receiving awards and running for state level leadership positions.
The event theme, “The Signature of Success,” outlined six qualities that serve as markers of quality in individuals that are successful. Throughout the three day event, students were recognized and challenged to build up the characteristics of Generosity, Hunger, Vision, Growth, Dignity and Tradition. Students competed in Career Development Events, earned scholarships, received cash prizes and were recognized onstage.
“Whether it’s serving communities, winning Career Development Events or making lasting contributions to the food, fiber and natural resources systems, FFA could not claim to be successful without the accomplishments earned by its individual members,” State FFA President and senior at Belleville Henderson Central School, J.W. Allen explained. “The world we live in needs us to be successful now, more than ever before. We hope to recognize students and help them to see the things they’re doing have real impact.”
Allen’s intentions were fulfilled. Throughout the convention, over five hundred awards, degrees and other forms of recognition were distributed to FFA members. Students and teachers were recognized for the influence they have in their schools, communities and the agricultural industry.
State Treasurer Elizabeth Bracken of Tri-Valley Central School delivered a speech entitled “Inexhaustible Magic” Saturday morning. “The words we say go straight to the heart of an issue, of a community or of a person,” she insisted. “Imagine the impact we could have as 1000 teenagers who go back to our communities and speak inexhaustible encouragement, inexhaustible belief, inexhaustible affection, humor, love, life… Let’s get serious about changing the world and changing people’s lives by taking OUR magic straight to their heart.”
“This is what FFA is all about,” said State FFA Executive Secretary Juleah Tolosky. “FFA provides opportunities for these teenagers to challenge themselves and accomplish something significant that is individualized and preparing them for careers and community leadership.”
The FFA is a national youth leadership organization for students enrolled in agriculture classes in their middle and high schools. Students pursuing careers in agriculture will be meeting the global challenges of a growing population, shrinking farm land and changing energy needs. Agricultural education is proven to improve student performance in math, science and language arts. For more information, go to www.ffa.org.
Media Contact: Juleah Tolosky