Education

Maine State FFA Convention to be held at NMCC & UMPI

Northern Maine Community College and the University of Maine at Presque Isle will host the 91st annual Convention of the Maine State FFA on May 12-13.

For many years the State Convention has always been held at the University of Maine in Orono, according to Doug Robertson, education specialist for the Maine Department of Education and Maine FFA state advisor.

The event will provide an opportunity for the 115 middle-school and high-school students in attendance to participate in over 16 career development events, ranging from extemporaneous speaking to veterinary science. High scorers of the career development events qualify to represent the state at the National FFA Convention to be held Oct. 26-29 in Indianapolis.

Opening ceremonies will begin at UMPI on Thursday morning, with Jackson Sylvester, National FFA secretary, presenting the Convention Kick-Off Speech. Sylvester is from Felton, Delaware, and graduated from Lake Forest High School. He is currently a student at the University of Delaware with a career goal of owning a welding company.

 The focus of FFA is teaching leadership through agriculture education with a commitment to community services. To meet the community service component of the program, students will provide support to the Community Garden on Birch Street and do park clean-up and trail maintenance for the Presque Isle Recreation Department.

Along with the career development events and community service activities, students will also have the opportunity to tour several local businesses related to the agricultural industry. Tour sites include the Penobscot McCrum Plant, Columbia Forest Products, Aroostook Trusses, Huber Engineered Woods, and Unbridled Faith Equestrian Center.

 The FFA Alumni Association has been actively involved in the planning and organization of this state convention, along with 130 volunteers from local businesses, organizations and agencies serving as judges, contest superintendents, advisors, chaperones, and bus drivers.

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