National FFA week kicks off Monday with proclamation at Miller Grove

By PATTI SELLS | News-Telegram Feature Writer

Feb. 13, 2007 - Miller Grove kicked off Future Farmers of America week, Feb. 12-16, with a public proclamation from Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap at the school cafeteria on Monday morning.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

A panel of former Future Farmers of America members with local ties, such as Marcus Hill, former Texas FFA president and current president of Ag Workers Mutual Insurance, spoke with Miller Grove FFA students Monday morning about their FFA experiences and how many of the skills they learned in high school help them in their careers today.

Students were entertained and inspired by stories from several former FFA members who went on to be successful business men and women throughout Hopkins County.

Speakers included: Wanda Parrish, former Area 5 FFA officer and currently the special education teacher at MGISD; Robert Van Winkle, former state FFA vice-president and current owner of Hopkins County Abstract; Dr. Kevin Gray, former Area 5 FFA officer and current veterinarian at Hopkins County Vet Clinic; and Marcus Hill, former Texas FFA president and current president of Ag Workers Mutual Insurance, who stressed to the students the importance of being their best at all times, and the fact that on back of the traditional blue and gold corduroy jacket it states "Where you're from; Not where you're going."

"Blue Jackets, Gold Standards" is the FFA theme this year, wrote Larry D. Case,  national FFA advisor, in a letter to members and advisors.

"This theme embodies all the best about FFA members, from the most recognizable symbol of our organization, the blue corduroy jacket, to the best ideals and  traditions of our national life, our gold standards of success," Case wrote.

Approximately half a million members from across the nation will participate in activities at both state and local levels during the designated week, with the focus geared toward letting America know about the great opportunities available to youths through the FFA program.

Future Farmers of America began in 1928, and the national organization now reaches all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The organization is committed to developing character and leadership skills in todays youth, and preparing them for a lifetime of civic leadership and career success.

Miller Grove FFA members are planning the following special events: Tuesday night, open ag shop; a youth ag awareness petting zoo; a faculty appreciation breakfast; and ag Olympics.

"Miller Grove FFA members are leaders of tomorrow," said Richard Watson, veteran ag teacher at MGISD. "They are well mannered, perceptive and willing to help others through community service. They are success oriented students, who are driven to achieve their goals. Just as the blue jacket is a true icon of FFA, the members set the gold standard for young leaders throughout the nation."

For more information call the school at 903-459-3288.

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