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SPENCER - Leeah Luepke of Spencer was named the winner of the Smith-Hughes 100th anniversary Logo design competition. The contest was sponsored by the National FFA, The Council and the National Association of Agriculture Educators. Luepke’s design selected because of its simplicity, creativity and ability to portray the spirit of the centennial celebration.

The logo will be used across the nation in publicity, promotions and media releases that recognize the Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act of 1917. This landmark act of the United States Congress established vocational agriculture at the high school level to train people "who have entered upon or who are preparing to enter upon the work of the farm."

The legislation was introduced into Congress by Senator Hoke Smith and Representative Dudley Hughes, both of Georgia. President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill on February 23, 1917. Smith an education-minded politician of his time also is credited with the Smith-Lever Act that established the University Extension System.

The Smith-Hughes Act created State Boards of Vocational Education to direct the program and provided federal funds to share the costs of the program. It was successful in attracting farm boys  into high school at a time when about only 3 out of 10 went to school beyond the one-room country school.

Though local student leadership organizations were a part of the curriculum from the beginning, the FFA was not established until 1928.

The Act achieved the expansion of Vocational Education throughout the country. Subsequent federal laws extended and expanded aid for vocational education as national interest in economic development and youth training intensified during the Great Depression, World War II, and beyond.

Luebke is an agricultural education undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. She has a rich experience with agricultural education and FFA being very active as a student at Spencer High School in Spencer, Wis. Luebke was a chapter officer for three years and then went on to serve as one of the 2014-15 Wisconsin FFA State Vice President. Her goal following graduation from UWRF is to go right into teaching secondary agriculture education.

The Smith-Hughes Centennial Celebration “kicked off” at last fall’s National FFA Convention and will continue throughout 2017 in communities across the state and nation.

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