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Artesia Family Brings Joy To New Mexico FFA

LAS CRUCES - When state FFA president Stuart Joy passes the gavel to his successor Friday at New Mexico State University, he will complete a second generation of family leadership in New Mexico.

Members of the Joy family from Artesia, shown at last year's state convention, have established a legacy in New Mexico FFA. From left are Jack; Kami; Kolbyn; Brandon; Brandon's wife, Dana; Stuart; and Diana. (06/02/2004) (Courtesy photo)

Stuart, who took over as president from his brother Kolbyn, is the youngest of four Joy siblings to excel in FFA since their father, Jack, started the tradition in 1963. Jack, Brandon, Kami, Kolbyn and Stuart Joy all earned American FFA degrees, a distinction that takes years of work on an agribusiness venture.

"Even though my state officer year went by fast, it was very rewarding," Stuart said as the state convention opened Tuesday. "When I get up there on Friday, I will be ready and excited to pass on the gavel and watch FFA progress without me. It was an experience I will never forget."

The Joy name is unlikely to be forgotten at the state or national levels.

"Working with the Joy family for the past three years has been a true honor," said Lane Widner, the assistant state supervisor of FFA. "The brothers are polite, intelligent and have very high morals. As president, both Kolbyn and Stuart have focused on the membership and making the New Mexico FFA Association better."

Before their terms as president, the brothers were state vice presidents in district five. And in another first for New Mexico, both were selected to serve on the elite national FFA nominating committee, which selects the six-member national officer team.

Stuart's resume includes terms as greenhand president, chapter sentinel, chapter treasurer and district secretary. He was a state winner in extemporaneous public speaking, first high individual in the farm business management career development event and earned a sheep production proficiency. He participated in chapter officer leadership training, state FFA leadership camp and the national FFA convention.

Kolbyn, the 2002-2003 state FFA president and 2001-2002 district five president, remains active in the New Mexico FFA Association. A sophomore at Lubbock Christian University, he will chair the nomination committee at the New Mexico FFA Convention June 1-4 and will be co-camp director at New Mexico State FFA Leadership Camp June 21-24 in the Manzano Mountains. He was a state star greenhand in production and earned state proficiencies in sheep and fiber crop production.

The Artesia FFA chapter had at least one of the Joy children as an officer for seven straight years.

It all began with Jack, the patriarch, who was high school chapter president and state star farmer.

Jack, who grew up on a vegetable farm, maintained his FFA connection when he began farming. The Joys supported their children's FFA agricultural experience programs with alfalfa, cotton and sheep on their 640-acre farm.

Oldest son Brandon was a star greenhand in agribusiness, earned a forage production proficiency and served as chapter president and vice president. He participated in events such as the Washington Leadership Conference, Made for Excellence conference and the national convention.

Sister Kami was a national finalist in fiber crop production, competed on a state champion agricultural issues team and held the offices of chapter secretary and vice president. She was also a greenhand creed state finalist, district five star in agribusiness and honorary state FFA degree recipient.

And the Joys may continue their FFA achievements on the national level.
Kolbyn is thinking of running for national office. And Stuart says he wants to follow in his brother's footsteps once again.