Thursday, April 16, 2009

FFA members gather for Alaska state convention April 22-24

FFA members from across Alaska will meet April 22 to 24 at the historic depot in Palmer for the Annual State FFA Convention. This is the capstone of the academic year for the Alaska state FFA. The convention theme is “Step Up and Stand Out to Feed, Fuel, and Finance Alaska.” The convention will be held in Palmer to recognize the accomplishments of the colonists who arrived in the Matanuska Valley in 1935 and the fiftieth anniversary of the first Alaska FFA program at Palmer Central High School. Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell is scheduled to attend the convention on Earth Day, a special day on which the Alaska FFA hosts the Alaska Envirothon, a natural resources competition for high school students.

Students from FFA chapters in Palmer, Anchorage, Fairbanks, North Pole, Delta Junction, Kodiak, Homer, and Wasilla will gather for contests, elections, workshops, and awards. In addition to Envirothon, students will compete in leadership and skill events. The winners of the contests will receive awards during the banquet at the end of the convention.

Riley Branch, of Texas Tech University, the western region vice president of the National FFA Organization, will present the keynote address and workshops. The current state officers will give retiring addresses and the new officer team will be elected, introduced, and installed.

Since its inception, FFA has prepared young people for opportunities and successful careers in agriculture and natural resources by providing educational programs, scholarships, and work experience. FFA operates on local, state, and national levels, providing students with a well-rounded and practical approach to learning. FFA helps students develop leadership skills by participating in public speaking, chapter meetings, career development events, recognition programs, and community projects. FFA also motivates young people to make a positive contribution to their schools, homes, communities, and country. Nationally there are nearly 510,000 members; Alaska has over 150 members ranging from 12 to 21 years old.

SNRAS and the Palmer Research and Extension Center are proud to host this event, along with many local and state agency and industry partners and sponsors. For more information, contact Jeff Werner, FFA advisor, 907-474-6932.

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