Seven new young people are embarking on a new journey this week- a year of service to the Indiana FFA Association. It's the new Indiana FFA state officer team. They were officially elected last week at the 80th Indiana State FFA Convention held in the same location for all 80 years- Purdue University in West Lafayette.
New team members include Travis Martin, Carroll at Flora FFA, president; Blair Boyer, Tipton FFA, secretary, Joe Rust, Seymour FFA, southern region vice-president; Emma Kratz, Prairie Heights FFA, northern region vice president; Daniel Bechman, Franklin FFA, treasurer, Heidi Melton, Shenandoah FFA, reporter, and Kyle Malcom, Eastside FFA, sentinel. Counties represented in order, respectively, are Carroll, Tipton, Jackson, LaGrange, Johnson, Henry and DeKalb.
These members replace seven individuals who completed their year of service at the convention. Most are returning to college, although not all to Purdue. They include Laura Donaldson, Emile Kuhn, Kenny Schilling, Laura Stockwell, Drake Babcock, Ann Bechman and Laney Kratz.
The new team represents some 9,500 FFA members across the state. They vied for their offices from a field of 15 outstanding candidates. All candidates spent two days in a grueling interview process, and worked behind the scenes at the convention. The slate offered by the nominating committee was adopted by the delegates just before the convention closed.
This week finds them at the Indiana FFA Leadership Center, learning about each other and about their new roles. Soon they will be traveling for training with other state officers from around the country, returning home to put on a summer camp at the Indiana FFA Leadership Center, then soon preparing for the Indiana State Fair. The FFA exhibit is one of the largest, and this year's fair runs for 17 days, not 12. Between preparation and clean-up, this commitment alone amount sot nearly one month of time.
State officers in the Indiana FFA defer college for a year and agree to live at the Indiana FFA State Officer House at Trafalgar. Not all states require this large of a commitment from their state officers. They are not paid for their time, although certain expenses are covered. They are also offered the opportunity to complete six credit hours of college course work through a special arrangement with Purdue University. Their year will continue through the 81st state FFA convention at Purdue next June.