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70th Annual State FFA Convention
Will Be Held This Week at Rutgers
For Immediate Release: May 24, 1999 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic


More than 350 New Jersey FFA members, advisors and guests are expected to attend the 70th Annual State FFA Convention in Hickman Hall at the Cook College Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The annual convention starts Tuesday, May 25 and runs through Thursday, May 27. During the convention, FFA members from across the state will hold business sessions and honor fellow members for their achievements. More than $7,000 in college scholarships will be awarded to State FFA members with an additional $3,000 in awards presented to FFA chapters and individuals. Scholarships and awards are sponsored by the State and National FFA Foundations, the State FFA Association and other agricultural organizations. Special convention speakers at Tuesday evening's 8 pm opening ceremonies will include Dr. Bruce Carlton, Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Cook College, Rutgers University, and Jose Santiago, National FFA Southern Region Vice President, followed by Patrick Grady, Vice President of Tomorrow's America Foundation. New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Art Brown, Jr., will open the evening session on Wednesday at 7 pm. Among the events of special interest are:

8 pm * 1999 New Jersey FFA Scholarship Presentations

1:30 pm * Public Speaking Awards
* Chartering of the Somerset County FFA Chapter
* H.O. Sampson Award for excellence in career development events 7:00 pm * Honorary State FFA Degree Presentations
* New Jersey FFA Agri-Science Teacher of the Year Award Thursday
8:30 am * State Proficiency Awards Presentations

10:00 am * State FFA Distinguished Service Awards
* Election of the 1999-2000 New Jersey State FFA Officer Team

State FFA membership has grown to more than 2,000 members this year, a record in the 70-year history of the organization in the Garden State. This year seven new chapters were chartered including two in the City of Paterson, one in Jersey City and one each in Bergen, Cape May, Hunterdon and Somerset Counties. FFA is a national organization of more than 452,000 members who are preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. More importantly, FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.