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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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FFA convention to take place at NMSU

For more than 40 years the state FFA convention has taken place at New Mexico State University and the tradition will continue June 4-6. This year's convention includes various competitions, election of state officers, awards ceremonies and presentations by a cowboy poet and the national FFA president.

State FFA officers stand in two rows wearing their signature blue FFA jackets
Outgoing FFA state officers 2011-2012, back row from left is Wil Hodnett, Diego Dow, Klayton Bearup and Jacob Townsend; front row from left is Sarah Goestch, Felixia Valdez, Elizabeth Pantoja, and Amanda Ball. (Submitted photo)

More than 600 students from at least 60 of the 78 statewide FFA chapters are expected to converge on the NMSU campus to participate in the convention competitions and activities.

"It's sort of like an end-of-year celebration where students can show what they've been working on and get to know people from different FFA chapters across the state," said Jerrod Smith, FFA program coordinator.

One of the highlights of the convention is the agri-science fair where students can present their agricultural research projects in categories like environmental service and natural resource systems, food products and processing systems and plant systems. The winners can move on to compete at the national FFA convention. New to the agri-science fair this year is a sponsored awards breakfast where winning participants will receive specialized medallions.

One of the keynote speakers this year is Baxter Black, who lives in Arizona but was raised in Las Cruces. Black is an author, poet, speaker and former large animal veterinarian who "makes a living shining a spotlight on the flaws and foibles of everyday cowboy life."

An address will also be given by national FFA president and NMSU student from Portales, N.M., Ryan Best. As FFA president, Best has been traveling across the U.S. advocating for agriculture and agricultural education. He testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry in Washington, D.C., and travelled to Japan to meet with agricultural leaders.

The competitive aspect of the convention will include categories like public speaking, agriculture sales and job interview skills. There will also be a talent competition, various chapter awards and on the final day of the convention the newly elected state officers will be announced.

For more information about the FFA or their state convention contact Smith at 575-646-7054 or via email at jersmith@nmsu.edu.