The National FFA Organization in New Mexico offers participants an opportunity to gain leadership skills, learn responsibility and serve their local community. For the first time since 2019, an in-person state FFA convention was held at New Mexico State University, May 31 to June 3. Nearly 600 FFA members from 83 schools in New Mexico attended.
“FFA is not just for students who want to be production farmers,” said Gary Aycock, state FFA adviser and state supervisor of agriculture education in NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. “FFA also welcomes members who aspire to careers as teachers, doctors, scientists, business owners and so much more.
“FFA in New Mexico is important because it offers a platform for its members to grow as leaders and do incredible things,” he said. “FFA offers limitless opportunities for students to grow as leaders and individuals. From the Washington Leadership Conference to serving as a chapter officer, FFA members learn responsibility, the importance of giving back to the community and how to discover their passion.”
New officers elected for the 2022-23 academic year are President Grady Hodnett from Mayfield FFA; Secretary Elida Miller from Las Cruces FFA; District II President/State Vice President Micah Lightfoot from Logan FFA; District III President/State Vice President Karly Niesh from Moriarty FFA; District V President/State Vice President Jordan Hamill form Artesia FFA; and District VI President/State Vice President Mirhonda Good from Alamogordo FFA.
“FFA exposes its members to many diverse aspects of the agriculture industry, which allows those members to find their passion in the field of agriculture,” Aycock said. “Through career development events, career fairs at different conventions and local workplace learning, members can experience different companies in the agriculture industries. Many of our New Mexico FFA members have stayed in the agriculture field and are currently everything from large animal vets, pipeline welders and field representatives for different companies.”
Individual and team awards also were presented at the convention. Leadership development event winners were Jayda Goodson from Texico FFA, Greenhand Creed and Greenhand Prepared; Paydon Kniepkamp from Artesia FFA, Ag Education; Remington Hunt from Texico FFA, Chapter Prepared Public Speaking; Las Cruces FFA, Ag Sales; Artesia FFA, Ag Communications; Jewel Joy from Capitan FFA, Greenhand Quiz individual; Capitan FFA, Greenhand Quiz team; Caylee Jimesson from Mayfield FFA, Employability Skills; Karleigh Erramouspe from Corona FFA, Career Development Event: Landscape Design individual; Corona FFA, Career Development Event: Landscape Design team; Maddie Glass from Imago Dei FFA, Extemporaneous Speaking; and Texico FFA, Ag Issues.
Proficiency Award winners were Moses Acosta, beef placement, and Sterlin Mitchell, diversified livestock, from Harding County FFA. Acosta was named Star State Farmer. Tanner Dean from Mayfield FFA was awarded the Greenhand Star in Ag Production, and Hunt was awarded the Greenhand Star in Ag Placement.
“In my opinion, the purpose of FFA is to develop competent, competitive and dynamic leaders for the agriculture industry,” Aycock said. “The FFA is structured so its members can become leaders at any level of the organization that they set their minds to. Some members know from day one that they want to be the state FFA president and lead their state’s FFA convention. For others, their greatest accomplishment may be that Chapter Proficiency Award that will hang on their wall forever because it’s their greatest treasure. Whatever the case may be, each student that is involved in the New Mexico FFA will come away as a better leader in one way or another.”
Additionally, the New Mexico Agriculture Education Teachers Association celebrated its inaugural class of hall of fame inductees at the state convention. Max Geary and NMSU graduates Jerry Franklin, Gary Leger, Mike O’Connor, Mark Runyan and Rod Savage were honored.
To learn more about New Mexico FFA, visit http://www.nmffa.org.