Written by Cory Chandler
Laila Hajji (L) will serve as vice-president and represent the Central Region. Riley
Branch (R) will also serve as vice-president and represent the Western Region.
Two students from the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications
will serve as 2008-2009 officers for National FFA
Riley Branch, an interdisciplinary agriculture major from Aspermont, was chosen as
national vice-president representing the Western Region; Laila Hajji, an interdisciplinary
agriculture major form Guthrie, Okla., was chosen as national vice-president representing
the Central Region.
“Understandably, our department is ecstatic about their accomplishments,” said Scott
Burris, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications.
“It is rare to have two national officers from the same institution, much less the
The students were among six selected to hold a national office from a field of 38
at the 81st National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.
Branch and Hajji will serve more than 500,000 fellow FFA members and travel more
than 100,000 miles meeting top leaders in business, government and education. Responsibilities
include providing personal growth and leadership training for students, setting organization
policies and promoting agricultural literacy.
The National FFA officer selection process assesses academic and extracurricular accomplishments
made by each student running for office. Nominees must first qualify on the state
level to represent particular state FFA associations.
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is
a national youth organization of 500,823 student members - all preparing for leadership
and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. There are 7,358
local FFA chapters in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.