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Newton Teen to Compete for National FFA Office

For Immediate Release: August 13, 2002


Hope Gruzlovic




The New Jersey FFA Association has selected Greg Babbitt, 19, of Newton, Sussex County, to compete as its state candidate for national FFA office in October at the 75th National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.

Greg Babbitt"The future of New Jersey's agricultural industry depends on young people who are knowledgeable and equipped with the necessary skills to keep our industry strong, innovative and profitable," said Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus. "New Jersey agriculture has a bright future because of capable young people like Greg Babbitt who have the enthusiasm, leadership skills and strong desire to serve our industry."

The National FFA Organization is an educational organization for students enrolled in agricultural education. Its mission is to develop a student's potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The Department of Agriculture administers the statewide program for FFA through its Office of Agricultural Education.

At the national annual convention, a nine-person nominating committee made up of FFA members from across the country will conduct intensive interviews with approximately 40 candidates and recommend six individuals to represent the National FFA Organization and agricultural education for one year.

Babbitt will be interviewed on agricultural and educational issues and be evaluated on his public speaking and writing skills, as well as take part in a group discussion. A written exam will test his overall knowledge about agricultural education and FFA.

Babbitt, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota majoring in agricultural education, intends to teach agriculture after graduating from college. A 2001 graduate of Newton High School, he served as the 2000-01 State FFA Treasurer and is involved in a supervised agricultural experience program, or work-based learning project, in the area of natural resources.

If elected to national office, Babbitt will travel more than 100,000 miles as a representative of more than 450,000 FFA members nationwide. This opportunity to serve will center on promoting agricultural education and careers in agriculture, and on leadership development. This will include attendance at local, state and national FFA events such as banquets, state conventions and leadership conferences, as well as business and industry visits. National FFA officers also will travel to Japan for two weeks to gain a unique perspective on international agricultural trade.