HOPE – A Hope High School Future Farmers of America alumnus keynoted the annual chapter awards banquet here, telling some 50 members and guests that the organization helped him build his life after high school.
“The beautiful thing about this club is not that it prepares you for college; but, it prepares you for life,” Clint Lively, Hempstead county cattleman and poultry producer, said.
Lively said that the impact of agriculture upon every aspect of daily life makes agricultural education more important to Americans than they realize.
“Everything you wear, eat comes from agriculture,” he said.
Lively said agriculture is the greatest economic engine on the planet, and the practical, everyday life skills that FFA brings to the Hope Public Schools agriculture education program not only helps students learn to work together now, but to have a clearer view of collaboration throughout life.
“I can’t tell you what to do after high school,” Lively said. “I can tell you to prepare for the possibility that your plans may not work out like you wanted. But, I don’t want you to lose faith; I want you to look back at your FFA experience.”
He said the Hope program’s classroom teachers and FFA advisors, Christina Smith and Michael Henagan, were continuing to build upon what has been one of the most successful agriculture education and FFA programs in the state.
“FFA will pay you back,” Lively said.
He said the key advice he might give to the six graduating FFA members is to not allow vocation to get in the way of avocation and community service.
“Use the God-given talent you have to help somebody else,” Lively said.
Lively also presented senior Chase Jones with the Mark Duckett Memorial Scholarship, which Jones plans to use in pursuit of agriculture business studies at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia in the fall.
Class of 2016 FFA members include Jones, Bobby Johnson, Ashley Rodden, Jase Newton, Leah Newton and Jesus Torres.
Officers inducted for the 2016-2017 chapter year include Laith Zimmer, senior, president; Summer King, senior, vice president; Ebony Morrow, senior, secretary; Spencer Collins, junior, treasurer; Melodie Maurer, senior, reporter; Dalton Potter, junior, sentinel; and Jordan Davis, junior, junior advisor.