MARTIN, Tenn. – Stephen McBride, a junior agriculture business major from Beechgrove, Tenn., was elected to serve as the southern region vice president for the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization earlier this fall.
Delegates at the 87th National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, Ky., elected McBride to represent the southern region of the country after he completed an eight-part interview process. The FFA executive team consists of six members selected from chapters across the United States.
According to the FFA, national officers commit to a year of service and travel more than 100,000 national and international miles to lead training conferences, form policies and interact with industry leaders, FFA members, state leaders and the public to promote agricultural education.
“This has been a dream of mine for many years, ever since I saw my first FFA executive team. It’s something I’ve always hoped I could do and I am honored to have this opportunity now,” McBride said.
McBride will take a leave of absence from UT Martin and spend this next year visiting local and state chapters across the country, spending about 300 nights away from home. He will also spend two weeks in Japan learning about that country’s agricultural education programs.
McBride continues a long family tradition of FFA leadership. His father, Mark, served as Tennessee Association state president in 1980-81 and his brother, Matthew, held the same position in 2006-07. Both are also UT Martin graduates.
There have been 13 national FFA officers from Tennessee, but McBride is the first from UT Martin.
“UT Martin is a great place for agricultural students to get plugged into whatever degree they want to be involved in and to get involved in collegiate FFA,” McBride said. The UT Martin chapter has seen many honors in the past few years as well. “(Success) just happens with having great people and great students that really are happy to be here and are happy to compete and represent their university,” McBride explained.
James Butler, a UT Martin agricultural education professor, was also honored by the organization earlier this past year. Butler was named a National VIP, the highest honor awarded by the organization, for his contributions to the FFA.
The National FFA Organization’s mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing leadership potential, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. It currently provides these services to 610,240 student members from 7,665 local chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
PHOTO CAPTION – UT Martin student Stephen McBride was elected earlier this fall to serve as the southern region vice president for the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization. McBride is a junior agriculture business major from Beechgrove, Tenn.