Cloudland FFA Chapter Recognized at State FFA Convention
Published 1:43 pm Thursday, April 14, 2022
Students from the Cloudland High School FFA Chapter attended the State FFA Convention March 27-29 in Gatlinburg. Many accomplishments of the 2021-22 school year were acknowledged, including recipients of the highly coveted “State FFA Degree” by four CHS FFA members. Noah Barnett, Blake Birchfield, Jeremiah Guinn and Luke Tomberlin were among the estimated 600 students who earned the degree statewide. The “State FFA Degree” is the highest honor an FFA member can receive at the high school level, only superseded by the “American FFA Degree,” in which these four members will be eligible in 2024.
In addition to these awards, Charleigh Dugger was recognized for her $1,000 SAE Grant, and selected to walk across stage and receive the “10% (or more) Membership Increase” award for the chapter. 10%, in fact, came nowhere close to the percent increase for CHS FFA this year. The chapter grew by 42% compared to last year’s roster, as this has been a rebuilding period for the program.
Hard workers and program recruitment weren’t the only aspects of the program that were honored. Sophomore Elijah Holtsclaw was selected for the State Talent program, and performed not once, but twice at the convention! A very talented vocalist, Elijah, or “Pidge” as he is known, was chosen to sing the National Anthem at the opening ceremony, as well as a popular country tune at the largest session, Tuesday evening. The crowd peaked at 3,288 members and guests present. This was his “first time singing on an actual stage,” his mother said.
The FFA offers opportunities of endless variety to students who apply themselves and have the desire to “seek out” what the FFA has to offer them. The mission statement, written in 1952, still holds true today. “FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.”