Maine FFA Association holds annual convention

Students in the Maine FFA Association (formerly known as “Future Farmers of America”) celebrated another year of accomplishments during their State Convention at the University of Maine, Orono earlier this month.

Maine FFA marked its 84th year as the leadership organization for secondary and middle school students enrolled in courses related to agriculture and natural resources.  With 16 chapters located throughout the state, it numbers nearly 500 students and includes programs from agriculture to horticulture, forestry and natural resources.

The convention included over 200 students, teachers, judges and guests and featured competitions, awards, scholarships, tours and a review of the year.  Among the guest speakers were National FFA Southern Region Vice President Jackson Harris, who spoke of the importance of community service.

Students participated in 20 competitions ranging from public speaking to floral arrangements, forestry and safe tractor driving, a new event this year.  Over $8,000 in scholarships and awards were presented to students.  Judges and volunteers included professors at the University of Maine, Orono, local businesses, the Maine Departments of Education and Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, school teachers and others.

Students winning competitions in Orono will proceed to the regional competitions at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as to the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, where they will be joined by over 60,000 participants from across the country.

For more information on agriculture education, contact Maine DOE’s Doug Robertson at doug.robertson@maine.gov or 207-624-6744.