LAUREL HILL — Laurel Hill School senior Ashley McLeod, 18, hopes to serve as a Florida Future Farmers of America Association’s state officer.
"As a state officer, I would act as an ambassador for Florida agriculture," she said. "I even get to travel around the nation through different opportunities."
State officer qualification requires each candidate to earn enough points during a rigorous screening process spanning interviews with FFA officials, individual and group problem-solving exercises and a written exam.
McLeod will compete with a Blountstown FFA member to represent area one of Florida, which covers Escambia to Bay county.
Candidates will learn election results during a June 10-14 state FFA convention in Orlando. During this event, candidates will continue to campaign by handing out resumes and business cards, along with delivering campaign speeches. Results will be announced June 14.
Jerry Gregory, McLeod’s FFA instructor, praised the teenager’s enthusiasm.
"No student has ever approached their FFA career with the desire and determination that Ashley has exhibited,” he said.
McLeod’s passion for agriculture comes from helping out on the family farm in Laurel Hill and by following her sister Stacey’s example by joining the school’s FFA chapter.
McLeod also credited support from her parents, Rhonda and David.
"In any way I need them they are always there for me," she said.
McLeod has been busy campaigning at several FFA banquets within area one, including events at Marianna and Blountstown.
Regardless of the election’s outcome, McLeod will stick with her passion; that means majoring in agriculture communication with a minor in political science, she said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.