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New Leadership Brings New Look to FFA

LAS CRUCES?Leadership camps, national and state conventions, chapter visits and the New Mexico State Fair are only a few things on this year's agenda for newly elected state FFA officers.

FFA members elected seven officers during the state convention. Back row, from left, are Paul Moya, district three president; Denton Dowell, district two president; Caleb Dodd, state president; and Russell Walter, state secretary. Front row, from left, are Rebecca Medina, district six president; Rhea Lynn Leonard, district five president; and Melissa Augustine, district four president. (06/21/2005) (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by J. Victor Espinoza)

FFA members from across the state elected seven officers to serve the 2005-06 term during the State FFA Convention June 9 at New Mexico State University.

Members of this year's leadership team are Caleb Dodd of Melrose, state president; Russell Walter of Animas, state secretary; Denton Dowell of Logan, district two president; Paul Moya of Los Lunas, district three president; Melissa Augustine of Tatum, district four president; Rhea Lynn Leonard of Artesia, district five president; and Rebecca Medina of Hatch, district six president.

"FFA has taught me skills that I can use as an officer and for the rest of my life," said Moya. "I want to motivate others."

Officers go to work right away with four days of leadership training starting the day after elections. The first activity on their schedule is hosting the state FFA leadership camp beginning June 27.

Dodd served on the state officer team last year. He has participated in state career development events, national convention, and leadership camps and workshops. He said he is looking forward to meeting FFA members and helping them learn about the opportunities FFA has to offer.

Walter said his most rewarding FFA experiences are being elected as secretary and earning his state degree for completing at least two years of agricultural education classes and an agribusiness project. "FFA has given me a general love for agriculture," he said. He has participated in leadership camps, state convention, national convention and career development events.

Dowell won the public speaking contest, finished as high-point individual in livestock judging and was a member of the winning state dairy team. He has also competed in parliamentary procedure, and horse and wool judging.

Moya was the star greenhand in 2004, based on years in FFA, projects, investments and earnings among the top applicants for state degrees. He has also won awards in public speaking and homesite judging. Moya has been involved in parliamentary procedure events and district, state and national judging contests. He attended leadership camps and state and national convention.

In addition to earning a state degree, Augustine has competed in public speaking, parliamentary procedure, state and national conventions, career development events and the state talent contest.

Leonard received her state degree and was this year's outstanding FFA reporter. She participated in leadership camps, dairy and wool judging, and parliamentary procedure and agricultural marketing contests.

Medina received a state proficiency award in floriculture at this year's state convention. She attended the national FFA convention and has competed in parliamentary procedure, public speaking and meats judging.

New Mexico has 6,000 agricultural education students, more than 4,000 of whom belong to FFA. FFA members participate in community service projects, competitions and leadership events that prepare them for more than 300 careers related to agriculture.