Maine FFA student officers review Maine agriculture

Maine FFA State Officers meet with grant sponsor Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC). Left to right: Doug Robertson, State FFA Advisor, Maine Department of Education; Maryjane Stafford, Chair, MAITC Association; Willie Sawyer Grenier, Executive Director; Kelsey Fortin, Assistant. In background is Maine Agricultural License Plate, whose revenues support $60,000 in educational grants each year.

Student State Officers of the Maine FFA Association (formerly known as “Future Farmers of America”) enjoyed in depth discussions with representatives of Maine’s agriculture and natural resources community on January 9, 2018 at the Agricultural Trades Show in the Augusta Civic Center.

The Maine FFA Association, devoted to leadership development, represents students in grades 7-12 (as well as collegiate alumni members) enrolled in classes related to agriculture and natural resources.  Some of these classes are offered through technical programs (such as horticulture and forestry) at secondary Career & Technical Education schools, while others are offered through middle and secondary classes in subjects such as science that are aligned to agriculture and natural resources.  Maine currently has 14 FFA chapters from Sanford to Caribou with over 500 members.  FFA members participate in state-level events as well as regional and national competitions, leadership training and other opportunities (such as over $2 million in scholarships) provided by the National FFA Organization.

The annual Agricultural Trades Show is organized by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and features 3 days of presentations, lessons and displays involving representatives of numerous industry, governmental and non-profit organizations.

Maine’s State FFA Officer team came away from this year’s Trades Show with a greater understanding of the state’s agriculture and natural resources, as well as the names of many contacts to include in future partnerships.  They also had the opportunity to attend the luncheon hosted by Commissioner Walt Whitcomb of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry at which presentations included Governor Paul LePage and Dr. Barb Glenn, Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

For more information about Maine FFA and how to start an FFA chapter, please contact:  Doug Robertson, Agriculture & Natural Resources Specialist and Maine FFA State Advisor, Maine Department of Education,  (207) 624-6744

Maine FFA State Officers (center) – Micayla Driscoll, Secretary-Treasurer; Isabelle Wright, Vice President; Kaley Norsworthy, President – visit with representatives of major sponsor, Farm Credit East – Renee Poulin, Appraiser Trainee, and Jacob Vainio, Credit Representative/Analyst