UNION COUNTY — Union County High School agricultural education students attended the South Carolina Future Farmers of America-sponsored State Legislators Appreciation Ceremony in Columbia February 22.
The students, accompanied by Ashley Dill and Jeff Whisenhunt, agricultural education instructors and FFA advisors at Union County High School, began the day by visiting with State Senators Shane Martin, Harvey Peeler and Ronnie Cromer and State Representative Mike Anthony. We thanked them for their support of Agricultural Education and learned about current issues that the State Assembly is discussing. Our students were introduced to the members of the House of Representatives while in session by Representative Mike Anthony.
Following the visits, the group joined the approximately thousands of FFA members and advisors from throughout South Carolina on the north steps of the State Capitol for a special recognition ceremony. The event got under way with the FFA opening ceremony. The group was lead in the prayer by Audrey Cutlip, State Vice President, and heard a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem by Emily McDaniel from the McBee Chapter.
Molly Spearman, State Superintendent of Education, applauded the FFA organization for their hard work and concern for the welfare of the community. She also stated, “I am confident in our future because I know South Carolina is producing exceptional young people who will be able to successfully lead our state in the future.”
Hugh Weathers, SC Commissioner of Agriculture, presented the Governors Proclamation to the State FFA Officers on behalf of Governor McMaster. This was in recognition of National FFA Week February 19-25, 2017. Commissioner Weathers also stated, “Your attendance here today shows you care about South Carolina agriculture”.
State Senator Daniel B. Verdin, of Laurens, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and State Representative David R. Hiott, of Pickens County, Chairman of the House Agriculture, Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs Committee, both gave remarks to the FFA members in attendance and presented a Resolution of Recognition and Commendation to the State FFA Officers on behalf of all the members of the SC General Assembly.
The State FFA Officers presented the Honorary State FFA Degree to Ron Ronveri, state director of Career and Technology Education for the South Carolina Dept. of Education and Sen. J. Thomas McElveen III. The purpose of the Honorary State degree is to recognize individuals who have rendered outstanding service to agricultural education and the FFA program.
Senator Greg Hembree was presented the Honorary American Degree on behalf of the National FFA Organization. This prestigious award is reserved for those individuals who have gone beyond the call of duty to promote and support the mission of the FFA at the local, state and National levels. This prestigious award is considered to be among the top Agricultural awards available in America.
The 16-17 state FFA officers conducted the ceremony at the South Carolina State House. They are: Austin Cathcart, State President, from the Lexington — Richland 5 chapter; Joey McCannon, State Secretary from the Pendleton Chapter; Audrey Cutlip, State Vice President from the Blythewood Chapter; Brooke Feder, State Vice President from the Pelion Chapter; Haley Nealy, State Vice President from the Pickens County CTC Chapter; and Kaytlynn Simmons, State Vice President from the McBee Chapter.
The week of George Washington’s birthday was designated as National FFA Week in 1947 at a National FFA Board of Directors meeting. FFA Week always runs from Saturday to Saturday and encompasses Washington’s Birthday.
The FFA positively influences the young people of America by developing character and leadership skills, and preparing members for successful careers. FFA members are the leaders of tomorrow. Through agricultural education and hands-on learning, FFA members are preparing for more than 300 career opportunities in the food, fiber and natural resources industries of agriculture. With more than 630,000 members, the organization has a history of service and a legacy of leadership.
This story courtesy of the Union County FFA