COOKEVILLE, TN— The Tennessee Future Farmers of America (FFA) Association’s five Stars visited Cookeville on June 6 and 7 during the Third Annual Tennessee FFA Star Tour. The Tennessee FFA Star Tour offers the Stars a platform to share the work from their agricultural projects with supporters across Tennessee.
The Stars began their visits in Cookeville by attending a Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation reception at Hyder-Burks Pavilion. Stars introduced themselves to Upper Cumberland residents and Tennessee Farm Bureau employees. In addition, they were able to meet American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall and Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation President Jeff Aiken, a former FFA member.
The following morning, the Stars had breakfast with Farm Credit Mid-America leaders, as well as local government and business leaders at the Putnam County Extension office. Attendees asked the Stars specific questions pertaining to their Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs). In addition, Stars learned more about Farm Credit Mid-America and their commitment to serving rural communities in Tennessee.
After breakfast, the Stars visited Little Creek Produce, a family owned and operated farm in Cookeville. Owner Wayne Moss takes pride in providing fresh, local produce to the community he calls home. Stars were able to learn more about his operation and even took home sunflowers as souvenirs.
Finishing out their time in Cookeville, the Stars enjoyed lunch and delivered a presentation centered on their agricultural projects to the Noon Rotary Club of Cookeville. Several parents and teachers of the Stars were in attendance for the lunch and presentation. Rotarians eagerly asked questions about the projects and wanted to learn more about the students’ future in the agriculture industry.
The 2017 Stars are: Star Farmer, Catherine Turner, Covington; Star in Agribusiness, Austin Akers, Cumberland County; Star in Agricultural Placement, Will Turner, Covington; Star in Agriscience, Erin Wakefield, Fayetteville City; and Star Greenhand, John Melhorn, Meigs
County. Star recognition is awarded to the top students in five areas who best demonstrate superior Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects, a requirement for all FFA members. Traveling with the group was Tennessee FFA Foundation Executive Director Chelsea Rose and Summer Intern Hannah Nave. The FFA Foundation is a non-profit based in Cookeville that provides for scholarships and programs, such as the Star Tour, for FFA members throughout Tennessee. Middle Tennessee FFA Consultant, Courtney Halfacre, was also with the group throughout the tour.
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. Nationally, there are 649,355 FFA members, aged 12-21. The Tennessee FFA Association is comprised of 14,084 members from 214 high school chapters, 7 middle school chapters, and 8 collegiate chapters across the state of Tennessee.
(Photo 1 caption: Stars with Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation President Jeff Aiken and American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. The Stars had the chance to interact with Presidents Aiken and Duvall during the reception.)
(Photo 2 caption: Stars present to Farm Credit Mid-America and community leaders in Cookeville, Tennessee.)
(Photo 3 caption: Stars visit with Owner Wayne Moss at Little Creek Produce in Cookeville, Tennessee.)