During the 87th National FFA Convention and Expo, six individuals were elected to serve the 610,240 FFA members across the nation. Georgia’s own Andy Paul of Lexington was elected as the 2014-15 National FFA President. Paul was a member of the Oglethorpe County High School FFA Chapter and served as the 2013-14 Georgia FFA Association President. Paul is proud of his Georgia roots.
“The home of peaches, pecans, poultry, pulpwood and peanuts is also home to this Paul,” he says. “Georgia is the place I plan to raise a family of my own, and getting a chance this year to showcase the great state makes me even more grateful for when I reside in it permanently.”
For the duration of his year of service, Paul will travel more than 100,000 national and international miles to interact with business and industry leaders, thousands of FFA members and teachers, corporate sponsors, government and education officials, state FFA leaders, the general public and more. Along with his many travels, he will serve as an advocate for agriculture.
“Agriculture is at its greatest strength, and also at its greatest time of need,” Paul says. “We need to get more young people involved in the conversation.”
From various experiences throughout his year as a national officer, Paul says he has “learned how to face any situation with a smile. That could be a language barrier, only a few hours of sleep, or an unplanned speech or workshop.”
He has also met many interesting members along the way. “FFA jackets aren’t produced on a cookie cutter because all of our members fill them with their own strengths and personalities,” he says.
After his year as a national officer, Paul will return to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College to pursue an agriculture education degree. Upon receiving his degree, Paul hopes to become either a middle school agriculture teacher or begin working in public relations.
“Being either a future agriculture instructor or working in public relations,” Paul says, “I know I always need to be ready on a moment’s notice because someone else’s happiness could depend on me.”