JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., April 5, 2012 — FFA members from across the state will meet in Columbia, April 19 – 20, to honor fellow members for outstanding achievements, conduct association business, elect new officers and participate in leadership workshops at the 84th Missouri FFA Convention.
Plant Goals, Harvest Success!!! is the theme for this year’s annual convention, which is expected to attract more than 8,000 students and guests to the Hearnes Center on the University of Missouri campus.
According to Keith Dietzschold, Missouri FFA executive secretary, the state association will present Missouri FFA Degrees to 773 members who, as a result of their agricultural and leadership achievements, have qualified for the state’s highest FFA degree. The State Star Farmer, the State Star in Agribusiness and the State Star in Placement also will be named.
Members will receive awards in various agricultural proficiency areas including communications, dairy production and food science; career development events including agricultural sales, floriculture, horse judging and speaking competitions; and other organizational program areas.
The Missouri FFA also will present awards to several adults and groups for their support of agricultural education and FFA. This year 26 Honorary State FFA Degrees will be presented.
The Missouri FFA Association will honor Terry Heiman, Russellville, Mo., with the Distinguished Service Citation. Heiman joined the agricultural education staff of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 1978 and since 1984 served as state director of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education. Under Heiman’s leadership, agricultural enrollment increased from 13,000 to more than 26,000.
During the two-day event, State FFA President Brady James, a member of the Knox County FFA Chapter, will lead 654 delegates, two from each chapter, in official business sessions.
The convention’s keynote speaker Grant Baldwin will use humor to help students find “confidence to face the real world.” Grant is the author of “Reality Check”, a book to help students transition from high school into college and the real world. Baldwin and his wife Sheila, along with their three daughters, live in Springfield, Mo. Baldwin will address the convention Friday evening.
This year’s National FFA officer address will be given by National FFA Western Region Vice President Seth Pratt from Blackfoot, Idaho. Pratt was elected as a national officer in October during the national convention in Indianapolis. During his national officer term, Pratt and his national officer peers collectively will log more than 100,000 miles representing FFA to top leaders in business, government and education. The national officers will also lead numerous personal growth and leadership training sessions for FFA members, set policies that will shape the future of the National FFA Organization and promote agricultural literacy. Pratt will speak during the Thursday afternoon session.
The Missouri FFA Association has 25,760 members, ranking fourth as a state in membership. FFA strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.