For more info on this topic please visit the American Farm Bureau Federation website.
Article by North District Secretary Ivy Harbin

The North District FFA had an outstanding attendance at this year's COLW. Numerous officers, members, advisors, and guests were present at Albertville High School as well as Falkville High School.

Report :
The morning opened with fellowship, setting the tone for a "brother helping brother" workshop. With the leadership of our president, Valerie White, the opening ceremonies began. Each District Officer was well prepared and perform in pristine condition. Prayer was to follow, given by Josh Black former District President at Albertville, and Blake McMahan former District Secretary at Falkville. Valerie then opened to address the crowd with a lovely prepared speech reminding us to "look back on our Greenhand days" . We then began to break up into our workshops. A theme of Duck Dynasty and workshops such as "How to keep your ducks in a row" and "Teamwork, JACK!" held the attention and got the point across. I truly believe that every one enjoyed themselves and had a great time. Everyone displayed superior behavior and respect, Thank You.

I am going to try and keep you updated on National FFA Convention. As the National FFA makes updates about Convention I will be updating here. Below you can find some things that have already been decided on for this years Convention. 

Convention Theme: Ignite

Keynote Speakers:

Rick Pitino - Rick Pitino is no ordinary college basketball coach. His energy and charisma have pushed teams toward national championships (most recently the 2013 NCAA Division I title) and unprecedented success. The head coach of University of Louisville basketball will bring his 10-step process that will motivate you to realize "success is a choice" on the road to becoming a winner, just like his basketball teams. 

Joe Torrillo - Joe Torrillo is a hero in every sense of the word. The New York City Fire Department veteran was heading to a press conference when the first plane hit the World Trade Center on Sept., 11, 2001. He rushed to join the rescue efforts, was buried alive twice in the twin tower collapses and miraculously survived. Now, Torrillo is on a mission to promote dreaming big and patriotism in the "Re-United States of America." 

Josh Sundquist - Josh Sundquist was told at age nine that a rare form of bone cancer left him with a 50 percent chance of survival. Chemotherapy treatments and the amputation of his left leg by the age of 13 saved his life. Josh was never deterred by the loss of his leg, and took up ski racing – eventually competing for the U.S. Paralympic Ski Team. Now, the author of Just Don't Fall uses his phrase "one more thing, one more time," a sharp wit and humor to inspire determination and optimism audiences everywhere. 

Katie Pratt - Katie Pratt has an appreciation for hard work, nature's power, sunrises and sunsets that keep her believing that life on the farm is the greatest challenge tempered by the greatest rewards. A former FFA member and officer from Illinois, Katie lives on a farm with her husband Andy and family and maintains an open door policy that regularly welcomes students, consumers and more to allow her to tell the story of agriculture. A “Face of Farming” for the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance’s The Food Dialogues, Pratt is dedicated to telling the story of today’s farmer.


This year the FFA Concert will be presented by Dierks Bentley and special guest, Jana Kramer. The concert will take place Wednesday, October 30th at 9:30 p.m.

Other entertainment at the National FFA Convention will include: a rodeo, hypnotist shows, the FFA Dance, and the band, chorus, and talent.

National Convention Expo

Each year the National FFA Convention expo is set up and includes more than 450 exhibitors from which students can learn about career and educational opportunities from, the "Hall of States", a Career Fair, and a shopping mall and food court. This year the Expo will be open Wednesday from 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm, Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. 
Article by: Kaleb Richard, South District President

On Thursday, July 25th and Friday, July 26th the South District Officer
team held there Chapter Officer Leadership Workshop at Daphne High School
and Rehobeth High School. The theme for this years COLW was "Suit up for
FFA". As sports has a big influence in south Alabama we use this to help
spread the message of Officer Responsibilities, Involvement in the FFA,
Proper Function of a FFA Chapter, Communication, and FFA Chapter
Development to around 200 FFA members. During this event we use several
activities  to keep the members involved and learning. Whether in be a 112
FFA members participating in the Human Chair and succeeding in it or
having a student and teacher dance off. The day was filled with fun,
laughter, and learning. At the end of the day we let the members battle it
out playing quiz bowl. Awards were given to the first and second place
winners. COLW prepared the members for this year and to help them to have
a succeful FFA chapter and have fun this year.
Alabama FFA South District Officer Team
Hey there AG Princess readers! If you haven't already I think you should check out the latest article in the Alabama Farmer's Co-Op Magazine. The article was written by me and is about the 2013 Alabama FFA State Convention. I have put a link to the article at the bottom of this blog post. Thanks for being such great readers! 

- Brittany Taylor
The AG Princess
Central District FFA President
Alabama FFA Association

"2013 State Convention in Review!" - Alabama Farmer's Co-Op - August 2013 
On Thursday, July 25th and Friday, July 26th the Central District FFA Officers held Chapter Officer Leadership Workshops in Hale County and Clay County. There were over 200 people in attendance for the workshops. The theme of this year’s workshop was “Survivor: FFA Edition”. The workshops taught the Chapter Officers about the opportunities within the FFA, leadership skills, recruitment skills, how to plan a program of activities, and how to get your chapter excited about the FFA. At the Hale County COLW, Bobby John Drinkard, former survivor contestant, spoke to the members in attendance. We also had a chapter activity called the “Final Immunity Challenge” in which the winning chapter got a $50 gift card to the FFA online store. I hope everyone had a fantastic time at the workshops and took the things they learned back to their chapters’. 

On Tuesday, July 16th - Thursday, July 18th the 2013-2014 District and State Officers of the Alabama FFA Association met at the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana, AL for the District Officer Leadership Conference (DOLC). At the conference the Alabama State FFA Officers delivered workshops such as speech development, parliamentary procedure, and workshop development to prepare the District Officers for their year of service. As the Central District FFA President, I was able to attend the conference. I had so much fun at this year’s DOLC. I learned a lot of different things during the workshops that will help me throughout my year as the Central District President. On Wednesday, we participated in a “low ropes” course. Through the ropes course and team building activities we learned a lot about team work and how to work well with others. My favorite thing about DOLC was getting to know everyone, especially everyone on the Central District Officer team. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.

The FFA Jacket, adopted in 1933 as part of the “official dress” for the National FFA Organization, is nearing is 80th anniversary. This jacket means a lot too many present and former members of the National FFA Organization. The FFA jacket means a lot to me, as an FFA member, because of all the memories and friends I have made wearing it. So, where did this very unique blue corduroy jacket and its design come from?

The Story Behind the FFA Jacket

One day a man named Gus Litner, an advisor of the Fredericktown FFA Chapter, saw a blue corduroy jacket with a bulldog on the back of it at a hardware store. He thought the jacket would be perfect for his FFA band members to wear as they performed at National FFA Convention. He talked to the owner of the hardware store and was informed about the Universal Uniform Company in Van Wert, Ohio, where the corduroy jacket was made. Mr. Litner bought a few of the jackets and had the back of them designed to have an FFA emblem and the name of his FFA chapter in gold thread. The band members of the Fredericktown FFA Chapter wore the jackets while they performed at National FFA Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. The jacket caught the attention of all who saw it that day. The members of the National FFA Organization liked the jacket design so much that they adopted it as part of the “official dress” in 1933.

Differences in Jackets from Then and from Now

There is however a few differences in the old FFA Jackets and the new ones we wear today. The vintage ones had snaps not zippers. The emblems were embroidered, not patches. The pockets were square rather than rounded. The wording on the emblem said “Vocational Agriculture” rather than “Agricultural Education”.

I will never forget when I got my first FFA Jacket. My Ag teacher, Mrs. Pike, helped me order my jacket. When it came in she gave me a small piece of paper. (I strongly encourage everyone to do this when they get their first jacket.) The paper said to list three goals for yourself as an FFA member. On the sheet I listed: 1.Compete at National FFA Convention, 2.Become a District Officer, and 3.Apply for a Proficiency Award. Completing all three of the goals I set when I got my jacket as an eighth grader was a great moment for me. I recently got a new FFA Jacket for becoming Central District President of the Alabama FFA Association, and I was super excited to get it. The FFA Jacket means memories, learning, growth, and friendships to me. What does the FFA Jacket mean to you? 

2013-2014 Alabama FFA Central District Officers
Picture"Texas Tornado"
    Towards the end of May "fluffy cows" became "viral"  when a photo of a show steer (Texas Tornado) from Lautner Farms was posted on the internet . It even trended on Twitter this week using the hashtag #fluffycows
    What is a "fluffy cow" anyways? A "fluffy cow" is a cow, bull, or calf that has been groomed for a show to appear fluffy and appealing. To create the look of the "fluffy cow" farmers, ranchers, FFA members, and 4-H members can spend around two hours or more grooming their cattle. They wash, clip, apply special oils to make the coat appear soft, blow dry, and hairspray the cattle. Showing cattle teaches children to be smart, hardworking individuals and the importance of animal care and agriculture. They learn many beneficial things all while having fun in the show ring. These cows are also proof of the care and commitment that it takes to be a farmer or rancher.
    These "fluffy cows", however, are forming a debate about the publicity the beef industry is getting from them. Some believe this is bringing positive publicity to the beef industry by creating an open door to opportunities to describe how the beef industry really works and how important beef production and showing cattle can be. Whereas, others believe this is bringing negative publicity and that it may not be to the best interest of the beef industry to have "beef" portrayed as "cute, fluffy, and too adorable to eat." 
    As AGvocates, we need to use the publicity agriculture and the beef industry is getting from "fluffy cows" to make sure consumers do not come to the wrong assumption that these cattle are "too cute to eat."

Please share this article with your friends! Also, answer our poll below after reading the article.

    The 85th Alabama FFA State Convention took place Tuesday, June 4th through Friday, June 7th. There were over 1,700 members and guests in attendance at this year's convention and I was very fortunate to be one of them. On Tuesday, June 4th, members competed in many different Career Development Events (CDEs) which were held in Auburn, AL at Auburn High School. Wednesday, June 5th through Friday, June 7th, the actual convention was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery, AL. 
    Wednesday, June 5th, many FFA members, including myself, were able to participate in the FFA's nationwide service project, The Rally to Fight Hunger. The Rally to Fight Hunger is a service project in which the FFA partnered with Kids Against Hunger to package meals to be sent to food banks across the state. The Alabama FFA surpassed its goal of packaging 40,000 meals. This is an outstanding accomplishment!
    The opening session of the convention was held Wednesday, June 5th at 2 p.m. During the session members were inspired to "Look on the 'Right' Side" by keynote speaker Derrick Tennant. The second session of the convention began at 7 p.m. the same night. During this session Nikki Giba, Alabama FFA State Sentinel, and Dawn Turner, Alabama FFA Vice-President gave their retiring addresses.
    During the third session on Thursday, June 6th at 8:30 a.m., CDE Awards were announced. Those teams and individuals placing first in CDEs will advance to compete at National FFA Convention in Louisville, KY in October of this year. Also during this session, Abby Himburg, Alabama FFA State Treasurer, and Lucinda Daughtry, Alabama FFA State Secretary, gave their retiring addresses. That night at 7:30 p.m. the fourth session took place. During the fourth session many Agricultural Proficiency Awards were received. I was awarded 4th place in the Agricultural Communications Proficiency Award area for this blog! Luke Knight, Alabama FFA State Reporter, gave his retiring address and Wiley Bailey, National FFA Officer, gave an inspiring keynote address. 
    The final session took place Friday, June 7th at 8:30 a.m.. During the final session the State FFA Degree Ceremony took place with over 200 Alabama FFA members receiving their State FFA Degree. Also during this session, Josh Williams, Alabama FFA State President, gave his retiring address and the 2013-2014 Alabama State FFA Officers were elected. The 2013-2014 Alabama FFA State Officers are: William Norris (Wetumpka) - President, Bailey Sims (Marbury) - Vice President, Hayden Whittle (Geneva) - Secretary, Shelby Windham (Ariton) - Treasurer, Kelsey Faulkner (Ardmore) - Reporter, and Alyssa Hutcheson (Red Bay) - Sentinel. Convention was adjourned with the final tap of the gavel by the newly elected Alabama FFA State Officers. Over 1,700 members and guests greatly enjoyed this year's convention. Thank you Alabama FFA for another memorable and fun-filled state convention!