New FFA president makes history

Wisconsin State Farmer

INDIANAPOLIS –  Breanna Holbert, an agricultural education major at California State University of Chico will lead this year's team of national FFA officers.

President Breanna Holbert

Elected by fellow delegates at the 2017 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Holbert is the first female African American to serve as the organization's national president.

Joining her on the 2017-18 national officer team are: Erica Baier, an agricultural education major at Iowa State University, was elected national secretary.

Piper Merritt, an agricultural economics major at Oklahoma State University, was elected central region vice president. Bryce Cluff, an agricultural technology and management: education major at the University of Arizona, will serve as western region vice president.

Ian Bennett, majoring in agriscience and environmental systems - plant breeding and genetics at the University of Georgia, was elected southern region vice president. Gracie Furnish, a career and technical education major at the University of Kentucky, will serve as eastern region vice president.

2017-18 National FFA Officer team (from left) President Breanna Holbert, CA; Vice President Gracie Furnish, KY; Secretary Erica Baier, IA; West Regional VP Bryce Cluff, AZ; Central VP Piper Merritt, OK; and Southern VP Ian Bennett, GA.

Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, six students are elected by delegates to represent the organization as national officers. Delegates elect a president, secretary, and vice presidents representing the central, southern, eastern, and western regions of the country.

National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization. Each officer travels more than 100,000 national and international miles to interact with business and industry leaders, thousands of FFA members and teachers, corporate sponsors, government and education officials, state FFA leaders, the general public, and more. The team will lead personal growth and leadership training conferences for FFA members throughout the country and help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 653,359 student members who belong to one of 8,568 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 344,239 alumni members in 2,051 alumni chapters throughout the U.S.