Marketing and Communications
National FFA Organization
Ed. Note: For high-resolution images of Harris and others elected to serve as
National FFA officers for 2013-14, visit
INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013/National FFA Organization) – As
a freshman at University of Alabama, Jackson Harris sought one of about 30 spots
in the University Fellows Experience, a program that fuses high academic
standards with a passion for community service.
He was asked during the
interview process to identify his strengths that he would be able to bring to
the group over his four years in college. His answer? “Well,” he said. “I
restore antique tractors.”
After a polite exchange of quiet smiles and chuckles, Harris
explained about his experience in FFA. He told the panel that despite the fact
that he didn’t grow up on a farm, through FFA he learned the difference between
an alternator and a radiator, and much more. He shared times that he and his
10-member tractor team would spend countless hours in the school’s shop
restoring every inch of machines that were manufactured and used in American
fields decades before he and his teammates were born.
The passion that
he conveyed to the panel was overwhelming. “Looking back, I wouldn’t change the
answer I gave that day,” Harris said. “From that little tractor restoration
team, I found within myself an ability to see things not as they are but as they
Harris was elected to the 2013-14 National FFA Officer team as
Southern Region vice president at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo.
Other members of the 2013-14 National FFA Officer team are Brian Walsh of
Virginia as president, Mitch Baker of Tennessee as secretary, Steven Brockshus
of Iowa as Central Region vice president, Wes Davis of West Virginia as Eastern
Region vice president and Jason Wetzler of Oregon as Western Region vice
Originally from Eufaula, Ala., and a community development
major at the University of Alabama, Harris served his Eufaula FFA chapter as
secretary and president. He was state vice president of the Alabama FFA
Association. Harris won several honors as a member of his chapter FFA string
band and quartet at district and state level competitions.
In 2008, his
team was named national grand champion of the Delo Tractor Restoration
Competition, an honor that opened the door to represent Chevron Delo Lubricants
as a promoter at the World Ag Expo in California later in his high school
The Eagle Scout was also involved in Student Government
Association at Eufaula High School.
“I’ve had my share of leadership
roles and happily played supporting roles,” he said. “I’ve been approved and
denied. I’ve been acclaimed and corrected and have been right and wrong. Through
it all I have had hope. I have always been able to see an opportunity for
growth, polish and betterment within myself – all because a group of grease- and
dirt-covered friends once told me to look a little deeper and work a little
Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, six students
are elected by delegates to represent the organization as National FFA officers.
Delegates elect a president, secretary and vice presidents representing the
central, southern, eastern and western regions of the country.
officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization. Each
travels 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. The team will lead personal growth and leadership training
seminars for FFA members throughout the country and help set policies that will
guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.
graduation from University of Alabama, Harris hopes to stay in his home state
and serve Alabama citizens – especially those living in poverty – by equipping
rural communities with opportunities for economic and creative growth.
“I hope to promote premier leadership, personal growth and career success as a
national officer at conventions and conferences across the country,” he said. “I
look forward to welcoming members and encouraging them to share their passions
and experiences for agriculture.”
The National FFA Organization provides
leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural
education to 579,678 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to
one of 7,570 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin
# # #
About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 579,678 student members as part of 7,570 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at www.FFA.org, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.