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Former FFA member returns to lead organization

A New Mexico FFA and New Mexico State University alumnus has returned to the university to serve the organization which helped make him who he is today.



New Mexico FFA and New Mexico State University alumnus Rudy Tarpley began his appointment as state supervisor of agricultural education and FFA on Aug. 21. (Courtesy photo)

Rudy Tarpley began his appointment as state supervisor of agricultural education and FFA on Aug. 21. As state supervisor, his goal is to help agricultural teachers be more successful and govern the state FFA organization.

Tarpley has an extensive background in agriculture and agricultural education. He grew up in Amistad, N.M., and participated in basketball, track, 4-H and FFA. In FFA, he showed steers and heifers, judged livestock and crops and competed in public speaking. He also was the state FFA president from 1980-81.

"FFA made me who I am and gave me a career in agricultural education. I am a huge believer in the organization, and my background has really prepared me to serve New Mexico FFA," he said.

After receiving his bachelor's degree from NMSU in 1985, Tarpley taught agricultural education in the state for five years. He went on to receive his master's and doctorate degrees from Mississippi State University.

Tarpley has been a member of the faculty at Texas Tech University, Eastern New Mexico University and, most recently, Utah State University. At USU, he served as advisor for several student agricultural organizations, along with teaching agricultural education.

"New Mexico agricultural education has a very unique relationship between the agricultural teachers, NMSU and administration. If I can strengthen that relationship, then it's good for the state and young people in agriculture," Tarpley said.