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Friday, June 14, 2024

MCPS ‘Future Farmers of America’ programs capture state, national honors at convention

Several ‘Future Farmers of America’ (FFA) programs recently represented Marion County Public Schools and competed at the 94th Florida FFA Convention and Expo.

The week-long event was held in Orlando and featured individual, team, and overall program competitions. There were over 100 FFA students from 14 different Marion County Public Schools that were in attendance.

While dozens of students received honors, the following students captured first-place awards in their respective competitions for the state of Florida and are now qualified for the national competition:

  • First Place (Division Six Agriscience Fair Contest – Social Science): Amanda Padgett and Ben Chase Ritten from North Marion High School.
  • First Place (Extemporaneous Public Speaking Leadership Development Event): Ashlynne Neal from Vanguard High School.

2022 Lake Weir High School graduate Tyler Laib also received recognition at the event and was elected as the Area 3 Florida State Vice President. FFA state officers are new high school graduates who hold their elected position for one year. During this time, officers present workshops and deliver presentations focused on the importance of agriculture and leadership development, and they coordinate chapter activities over the course of the year.

North Marion High School received the National Chapter Award, which is considered the “gold standard” for FFA programs. The award recognizes FFA chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization.

The Florida FFA Association is governed by a board of directors that is comprised of teachers and students, charters local chapters, and provides direction, program materials, and support for local chapters. FFA’s mission is 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.

For more information, contact Career and Technical Education Program Specialist Kathy Otte via email (Katherine.Otte@marion.k12.fl.us) or visit the ‘Future Farmers of America webpage.