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The New Mexico State University Collegiate National FFA Organization offers students a chance to continue leadership advancement opportunities and make an impact in their communities.
“On the collegiate level, the club is not only for students with a background or degree focused in agriculture, this organization is for anyone who wants to gain leadership experiences and positively impact communities in an agriculture context,” said Don Edgar, Agricultural and Extension Education professor and NMSU Collegiate FFA adviser.
“Development of leadership skills in our students is a fundamental piece of their education in the College of ACES,” said Rolando Flores Galarza, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) dean. “Our students are the future leaders of the nation and several other countries in the world, as it has been demonstrated by our prestigious ACES alumni. We are very proud of our FFA team and the faculty who advise and mentor them.”
Six NMSU students and an adviser attended the FFA National Convention and Expo in October in Indianapolis, Indiana. Members competed in the National Alpha Tau Alpha Conclave where they participated in quiz bowl, parliamentary procedure, debate and program of excellence contests.
Seven NMSU students were among the 16 students from New Mexico who were awarded their American FFA Degree at the national convention. Madeleine Gardner, Anne Hodnett, Brandon Larranaga, Mackenzie Lightfoot, Tianna Peterson, Trevor Rawdon and Taylor Scott were awarded the highest degree achievable in FFA. The American FFA Degree illustrates an FFA member’s dedication to his or her chapter and state FFA association. Less than 1 percent of FFA members achieve the accolade.
To be eligible for an American FFA Degree, FFA members must have earned and productively invested $10,000 through a supervised agricultural experience program in which they own their own business or hold a professional position as an employee. Recipients also must complete 50 hours of community service and demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and civic involvement through the completion of FFA and community activities. NMSU Collegiate FFA members participate in events such as Clean-Up Las Cruces, the Big Event and AG Day.
While many NMSU Collegiate FFA members first joined in high school and middle school, it is not a requirement. In New Mexico, FFA has nearly 3,000 members in 83 high schools and middle schools.
“From agricultural advocacy to leadership development, New Mexico FFA is committed to helping members find their passion and build their future,” said Gary Aycock, state supervisor of agriculture education at NMSU and state FFA adviser. “New Mexico FFA continues to help the next generation rise up to meet those challenges by helping its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of agricultural career pathways.
Several high school and middle school members also attended the national convention and won national awards. To view a list of awardees visit www.nmffa.org/uploads/4/1/0/7/41075673/new_mexico_ffa_national_results.pdf.