By: Lydia Crawley
Members of the Tucker County Future Farmers of America met to celebrate a prosperous school year, the fruits of a year’s hard work, and bid farewell to the graduating seniors of the organization. Members, along with their family, friends, and honored guests assembled in a packed hall to support the members of the club.
Paul Pennington, FFA Advisor, opened the festivities with a brief address to the group followed by the outgoing officers opening the meeting with a call of the stations. This was followed by a blessing of the meal. The meal was supplied by the FFA members, friends, and family.
The keynote address was given by State Senator Randy Smith. Smith praised the group and thanked them for the hard work and dedication. Smith also gave a brief anecdote about how he met his wife of 45 years because of the FFA.
“I love the FFA. I’m proud to wear the blue and gold,” Smith told the group.
Smith also commented on the professionalism of the group during a recent citation presentation he was present at and referred to the FFA as the, “best youth organization in the world.”
Smith also told the group that he encourages employers to hire FFA members due to their leadership and work ethic.
“Become an officer, become a leader. Those skills will follow you the rest of your life,” Smith said.
Smith concluded his address by saying, “I will go to my grave loving and supporting the FFA.”
State Officers were also in attendance as well as local representatives Mike Rosenau and Fred Davis from the Tucker County Commission and Cathy Hebb, Thereasa Simmons, and Mae Teter from the Tucker County BOE. The State Officers and Commissioner Rosenau addressed the group at the banquet. Rosenau congratulated the group.
“We’re proud of you,” Rosenau said and continued by referencing the annual Christmas Dinner that the FFA helps out with, “The professionalism is what really struck out to me…thank you for all that.”
The outgoing officers ceremonially turned over responsibilities to the the newly elected officers for the coming 2023-2024 school year at the banquet. 2022-2023 President Hannah Cussins will be replaced by current Vice President Laney Burns in the coming year. Cussins will be assuming the role of Vice President in 2023-2024. FFA Secretary Zada Carr will resume her current responsibilities in the coming year. Alicia Barb will replace Abby Kitzmiller as FFA Treasurer in 2023-2024. MaKenna Evans will pass the role of FFA Reporter to Emily Snyder. The role of FFA Sentinel will pass from Alicia Barb to MaKenna Evans for the coming school year. Current Parliamentarian Alyssa Darby will be replaced by Kristen Ritchey and the role of Historian will be held by Christopher Donnellan in 2023-2024. A new Chaplin has yet to be determined to replace outgoing Emily Snyder. These new officers closed the meeting and officially assumed their duties for the year.
Various awards were also issued at the event. Addison Hunt received recognition for the top sales in the Gun Raffle. Abby Kitzmiller was recognized for Top Freezer Raffle Sales. Top Strawberry Sales went to Makenna Evans.
Laney Burns and Hannah Cussins received recognition in anticipation of their State Degrees. Advisor Paul Pennington reported that they had completed all the necessary work and anticipates the official award of the degrees this coming July.
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