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!
Aquaculture Defined: Aquaculture, also known as aqua farming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions. Mariculture refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments and in underwater habitats.
As you know, or maybe you don’t, Alabama is one of the leading states in aquaculture sales. Alabama ranks third nationally behind the states of Mississippi and Arkansas. The states of Louisiana and Florida are also in the top five, ranking fourth and fifth. There are 4,028 aquaculture farms in the U.S. Alabama has the fourth highest amount of farms in the U.S. with 215 farms. Alabama has about 25,000 water acres of fish farms, where commercial farmers produce 25 different aquatic species. Alabama’s most dominant species is farm raised catfish, in which Alabama ranks 2nd nationally in annual sales. In 2008, Alabama catfish sales totaled $93.3 million. Alabama’s three large-scale processors sell catfish to all 50 states, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Alabama is also home to the world’s largest catfish processing plant. Alabama produces about $98 million worth of catfish a year. Other species that Alabama aquaculture farmers raise are shrimp, tilapia, and crawfish.
Thought to Ponder: Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana produce 95% of the catfish grown in the U.S.
The Alabama FFA Foundation Specialty Tag is now available for pre-commitments at your county tag office. Persons desiring to support FFA programs in Alabama by purchasing pre-commitments must complete a “Commitment to Purchase” application for the Alabama FFA Foundation distinctive plate and remit the additional $50 fee to their county license plate issuing office. The county returns the original copy of the application form and a commitment to purchase tag receipt indicating receipt of the additional fee to the applicant. The “Commitment to Purchase” application can be completed even if it is not time for your tag to be renewed. The $50 fee is an annual fee in addition to the standard tag registration fees. Once the precommitments meet the required amount (1,000), applicants will have an unlimited time to return to the county office and receive their license plate. In order to receive the plate, applicants must present the ORIGINAL copy of the “Commitment to Purchase” application form and tag receipt. Once tags become available, anyone may purchase an Alabama FFA Foundation distinctive plate.
Founded: December 14, 1819 (22nd)
State Bird: Yellowhammer
State Tree: Southern Pine
State Flower: Camellia
Number of Counties: 67
Number of Farms: 48,500
Total Farmland: 9 million acres
Alabama & Agriculture
Have you ever wondered how the beautiful state of Alabama ranks agriculturally? Well I have! Above you can find a state profile that lists a few general things about Alabama. Alabama is home to about 4,802,740 people and is ranked the 23rd most populous state. There are over 48,000 farms in Alabama that cover about 9 million acres of land. This averages out to about 186 acres per farm. The farmers in Alabama grow and raise a variety of crops and livestock.
Alabama is a leading state in the poultry industry ranking as the 3rd largest producer of broilers (meat chickens) and the 13th largest producer of eggs in the nation. Twelve major companies operate the broiler farms in the state of Alabama. These companies provide jobs for about 55,000 people, including 4,000 farmers. The poultry industry is a huge industry for the state of Alabama.
Alabama ranks in the top 25 nationally in cattle inventory and 14th in beef cattle inventory. The cattle industry is one of the state’s largest agricultural products in terms of cash income. Alabama averages about 1.5 million head of cattle. Cullman County ranks 1st in Alabama in cattle production.
Alabama is one of the top four states in aquaculture production. Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana, produce 95% of the catfish grown in the United States. That is a lot of catfish! You can learn more about catfish from the Auburn Fisheries Department.
Alabama is ranked 11th in the United States in cotton production. Limestone County is the leading county in Alabama for cotton production. The state averages about 28 pounds per acre.
As you can see Alabama is one of the leading states when it comes to agriculture. We have a lot to be proud of in our state agriculturally. I hope you enjoyed this article. Thanks for visiting my blog! Share with a friend!