The Duncan Ballroom was a beautiful setting for the first annual UTM National FFA Week Goodwill Tour Banquet.
Over 400 members and supporters of the National FFA Organization from west Tennessee attended the banquet on Monday, Feb. 23, to celebrate 75 years of student success in FFA.
Each year during National FFA Week, the Tennessee Association FFA State Officers travel across the state to promote the National FFA Organization and the Tennessee Association FFA. This year, four State Officers attended the UT Martin banquet: State Secretary Ashley Baker, State East Tennessee Vice President Tyler Wilson, State Sentinel Daniel Rogers, and UTM’s own LeAnn Quinn, a sophomore Agriculture Business major who is serving as the West Tennessee Vice President for the Tennessee Association FFA.
The State Officers took turns speaking about the progress of the National FFA Organization at the banquet. Kim Newsom and Will Bird, former Tennessee Association FFA State Presidents, collaborated on a Power Point presentation on the history of the National FFA Organization.
Keynote speaker for the event was L.H. Cotton Ivy, former Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture. Ivy entertained the banquet attendees with comical stories about his experiences with agriculture. He spoke about the importance of the FFA and encouraged everyone to stay involved with the organization.
On Friday, Feb. 27, four members of the UTM Collegiate FFA chapter, along with chapter advisor Dr. James Butler, competed in various competitions at the Tennessee FFA Alumni State Convention.
UTM students receiving recognition included Amanda Robinson, senior Agriculture Business major; Derek Norman, senior Agriculture Business major; Erin Smith, freshman Agriculture Business major; Pamela Bartholomew, junior Agriculture Education major; Allie Shrum, freshman Agriculture Education major and Tennessee Association FFA Middle Tennessee Vice President. UTM’s chapter received third place for overall participation.
“I thought this was an awesome experience for everyone who participated. I believe that everyone, from the high school FFA members to UTM faculty, benefited from the celebration,” said UTM Collegiate FFA Vice President Pamela Bartholomew. “I am looking forward to another 75 years of excellence for the Tennessee Association FFA.”