The top two agricultural youth organizations in the state elected new leadership recently at their annual conventions – 4-H elected new officers at their 4-H Congress and FFA a new slate of state officers at their 91st State FFA Convention.
The 72nd annual Tennessee 4-H Congress gave 4-H’ers the opportunity to learn about the day-to-day functioning of state government by assuming the roles of state representatives and senators. Since its beginning in 1948, 4-H Congress has given some 37,000 4-H’ers and volunteer leaders firsthand experience in state government. The newly-elected officers are: Governor, Carlin Cochran of Hickman County; Issac Chandler, Speaker of the Senate of Anderson County; and Leah Kennedy, Speaker of the House of Williamson County.
Approximately 400 high-school-age 4-H’ers from all over the state met to become legislators and form a “junior” state Congress, and had an opportunity to debate and vote on youth-oriented bills in the House and Senate Chambers. In addition to learning about government and their state capitol, delegates competed in public speaking, poster and essay contests. 4-H’ers also competed in leadership and citizenship projects for college scholarship money and trips to National 4-H Congress in Atlanta. The theme for this meeting and for all 4-H programs in 2019 is “Tennessee 4-H: Roadmap to Success.”
More than 3,600 FFA members attended the 91st Tennessee State FFA Convention, where students competed in career development and leadership development events to determine state winners, attended breakout sessions put on by National FFA officer Ridge Hughbanks and out-of-state officers from seven other states and rocked out during sessions where they heard from keynote speakers, including Tennessee YF&R chair Matt Niswander, industry leaders and learned the results of competitions. Their theme this year is “Just One”
Their new slate of state FFA officers to lead the association over the next year are:
President – Taylor Campbell of David Crockett FFA; East TN Vice President – Travis Stewart of Polk County FFA; Middle TN Vice President – Nathan McClard of Macon County FFA; West TN Vice President – Caroline Gurton of Paris FFA; Secretary – Emily Nave of Woodbury FFA; Treasurer – John Ryan Scarlett of Jefferson County FFA; Reporter – Erika Brown of McEwen FFA and Sentinel – Austin Wattenbarger of Stone FFA.