Writer: Elisa French
LAS CRUCES-About 800 FFA members and guests from across the state will attend the 2004 New Mexico State FFA Convention June 1-4 at New Mexico State University.
The convention theme, "Living the Legacy," celebrates a 76-year legacy of student success. FFA members will fill a time capsule to be opened in 25 years at the 2029 convention marking the organization's 100th anniversary.
Members will participate in 10 contests including public speaking, marketing plan presentation, agriscience fair, talent contest and job interviews. Students have the opportunity to win scholarships, plaques and ribbons. First place teams and individuals earn a chance to compete at the national convention in late October.
Convention keynote speakers are Chad Varga, motivational speaker, and Anne Knapke, national FFA eastern region vice president. The eight outgoing state officers will also give retiring speeches.
FFA chapter delegates will vote on new state and district officers to serve on the 2004-2005 leadership teams. The officers will help lead activities such as the Red Barn petting zoo at the New Mexico State Fair, community service projects and chapter officer leadership training.
Mark Runyan, assistant state supervisor of agricultural education, said the convention is the highlight of the year for FFA members. "This activity allows members to have a sense of ownership in the program by having them vote on issues that affect the state as a whole."
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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