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Davis is national FFA winner

Audrey Lea Davis was named national winner of the Agricultural Education-Entrepreneurship/Placement Proficiency award at the 82nd National FFA Convention in late October.

According to Bainbridge High School FFA Adviser Hugh Lanier, Davis is Decatur County first national winner in an FFA competition in more than 20 years, and perhaps in the county’s FFA history.

“Just to be a national finalist is a feat in itself,” Lanier said.

But Davis took it a step further, progressing through the arduous tasks of going through additional interviews and other tasks necessary for the national title.

She started the process in January, completing an eight-page application that included photographs and lists skills and activities she did to conduct her three-year project. She won the area level competition, then won the state title, which also entailed another application and interview process. The national competition was tough as well, with an additional round of applications and interviews.

Judges picked the top four, which included Davis, Paige Michael Murphy McCrory of Missouri, Maria Skoglund of South Dakota and John Peyton Harper of Tennessee, who were all invited to attend the national convention.

“I was very excited. It happened very fast,” Davis said Thursday of her being named the winner. “I was very pleased that I won it, but anybody had a chance to win it, but I was very pleased. It was just an honor to make it the finals.”

It’s rare that a local chapter would have a national award winner, and Lanier described it as a once-in-a-career event for an FFA adviser to see one of his students win a national award.

Davis’ project started during her junior year at BHS. She worked with Lanier in developing FFA membership, facilitating practices for middle school student in parliament, held swine show clinics, created a news segment to educate the community on agricultural education events and news for Flint Media Inc. and assisted area teachers with career development and teaching resources.

Davis, who will 20 years old on Monday, is the daughter of Alan and Lynn Davis of Bainbridge. She is a sophomore Abraham-Baldwin Agriculture College and works at the South Regional Ag Education Office. She is majoring in agricultural education.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 507,763 student members—all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. There are 7,439 local FFA chapters in all of 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The National FFA Organization changed to its present name is 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education.

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.

Proficiency awards recognize FFA members who excelled as agricultural entrepreneurs, employees or volunteers while they gained hands-on career experience.

Agricultural Education-Entrepreneurship/Placement is one of the 47 FFA proficiency award categories offered at local, state and national levels. Agricultural Education-Entrepreneurship/Placement proficiency award program is sponsored by the James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation and The Lincoln Electric Company, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.