Alexandria hosts 2021 State FFA Convention
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The school year may have already come to an end across the state, but many students came together one last time this week for the Future Farmers of America 2021 State Convention.
More than 400 students gathered together at the Randolph Riverfront Center for their annual, week-long convention, with students and faculty advisors attending leadership and development events and workshops. They also presented awards for achievements made by individual members and chapters within FFA, including in livestock and equine exhibition and state fair metal and wood projects.
Due to COVID-19, last year’s convention events were held virtually, including the election of state officers. On June 10, many of those officers hung up their blue corduroy jackets for a final time, leaving the next group of state officers to carry on the legacy they set in motion.
“You don’t always see people represented who look like you, and I know this because I’m a student of color, and I felt that at one point in my life,” said retiring-FFA State President Kaleb LeMoine. “But this year, our legacy project was to make, as I said, a more diverse organization, and I hope that this year’s team will just continue to carry on that legacy by promoting diversity and inclusion. FFA is an organization for people of all backgrounds, no matter who you are, where you’re from or what language you speak, this organization really does have something for everybody. So, I just hope that the team this year will carry on that legacy far into the future.”
LeMoine, who is also the first African American, male state officer, issued a challenge to FFA members, urging them to be people of value, not just people of success.
“Sometimes we spend so much time building our resumes, that we forget to build our character,” said LeMoine.
FFA’s mission statement outlines three major goals it seeks to accomplish: growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. In his retiring address, LeMoine emphasized the importance of character-building in meeting those goals, adding later just how important the organization was in making that happen in his own life.
“One of the ways FFA really helped me build my character was by helping me get out there and actually meet people and understand who I am and what my values are,” reflected LeMoine. “You know, walking in this blue jacket, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do in it, but these last few years have really been an eye-opener for me.”
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