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  MEMBERS CONDUCT OFFICIAL BUSINESS AT CONVENTION
 
By: Kyler Palmer, Karnes City FFA
July 15, 2016

 
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Just over 1,800 members representing 659 chapters from across the state had the opportunity to serve as the legislative body for the Texas FFA Association at the second general session of the 88th Annual State Convention. 

Following the adoption of standing rules, voting delegates listened to both the secretary’s report, delivered by State Vice President Alec Winfrey, and the treasurer’s report, delivered by State Vice President Coy Westbrook. 

Michael LaCourt of the Atascocita Chapter moved to fix state membership dues at $5 per member. The motion was seconded and passed by the legislative body.

State President Jason Edmondson then proposed the state budget for the 2016-2017 year. He noted this budget is the largest in Texas FFA History totaling nearly $2.634 million. 

“The overall budget has an increase of $57,219.75, totaling a little more than $2.634 million, the largest budget in Texas FFA History,” Edmondson said. 

Candidates for the Honorary Lone Star and State Lone Star Degrees were also approved by the delegation. The delegation then nominated Yoakum FFA member, Trey Elizondo, to represent Texas FFA at the National FFA Convention in October.



“I am so excited to represent the Texas FFA Association as the 2016 national FFA officer candidate,” Elizondo said. “With the Texas FFA support, God by my side, and this jacket on my back I know I can truly accomplish anything. Thank you Texas FFA. You have left an imprint the size of Texas on my heart.”

The next item of business presented to the delegation pertained to the realignment of area associations. 

The Texas FFA Board of Directors submitted three bylaw amendments related to area alignment. The details of these amendments were e-mailed to all chapters on May 5 and have been online since.  

Based on projected membership and participation and stakeholder feedback, a Commission on Realignment composed of ten teacher representatives, an event provider representative, two representatives from the board of directors, a VATAT representative and a student officer representative developed a new alignment with two additional area associations. This amendment was passed by the delegation. 



With the idea of maximizing student engagement, the commission reached a consensus that a policy mechanism should be created that allows a local program to formally petition the board of directors to be assigned to an adjacent area association. Once again, this amendment was passed by the delegation.   

To prevent school districts crossing county lines from being torn between area associations, an amendment allowing chapters to associate themselves within the area association of their school headquarters. This was the last amendment passed by the delegation.   

All items on the outlined agenda were covered by the delegation and the meeting was adjourned. 

Texas FFA Executive Director Tom Maynard said he believes the business session went well. “I think that in our world and what we do [in Texas FFA], the ‘learning to do, doing to learn’ process is everything,” Maynard said. “The business session is an educational experience for everyone. It is all about learning, teaching, and agricultural education.”
 
Reporter: Kyler Palmer, Karnes City  FFA
Photographer: Maddie Brown, Henrietta FFA
 
 
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