Writer: Elisa French
LAS CRUCES-Johnathon Walsh of New Mexico State University will represent the state as a national officer candidate at the 2004 National FFA Convention, Oct. 27-30 in Louisville, Ky.
"Johnathon is a shining example of the quality of student membership in the New Mexico Association," said Les Purcella state supervisor of agricultural education and FFA at NMSU.
Walsh, an NMSU junior majoring in animal science, is from Moriarty. He will compete with other FFA members from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Six members will be selected as national officers for the 2005 year.
Walsh's resume includes terms as state FFA vice president, district one president and Moriarty chapter president and parliamentarian. In the Moriarty chapter he held many offices, completed service projects and competed in judging contests.
After graduating from high school in 2002 he completed two years of college at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs and Connors State College in Warner, Okla.where he received his associate's degree in applied agricultural science in May 2004.
While in college, he competed on the livestock evaluation team, drawing on his FFA supervised agricultural experiences raising show horses, dairy cattle, replacement heifers, market steers and market lambs.
For his service projects, Walsh coached livestock and horse judging teams. He has earned all four FFA degrees: greenhand, chapter, state and American.
He has participated in the National FFA Convention, New Mexico FFA Convention, chapter officer leadership training, state president's conference and the national leadership conference for state officers.
After retiring from state office, Walsh continued to volunteer as a technology specialist at the New Mexico State FFA Convention every June and as director of the New Mexico FFA Alumni Leadership Camp for the past two years.
Walsh will attend the national convention with more than 300 New Mexico FFA members and agricultural education teachers. The students will compete in career development events, tour the Louisville area and participate in a career show.
"The National FFA Convention is a unique activity in the field of education. Nowhere else will you find over 50,000 motivated young people who possess a vision of their future careers in the field of agriculture," Purcella said.
New Mexico has 6,000 agricultural education students, more than 4,000 of whom belong to FFA. Members participate in community service projects, competitions and leadership events that prepare them for more than 300 careers related to agriculture.
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