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UF student elected to president of national Future Farmers of America organization

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – University of Florida student Clay Sapp has been elected president of the national FFA organization, also known as Future Farmers of America.

Sapp, a junior in UF’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ agricultural education and communication department, received the honor during the organization’s national meeting last month in Indianapolis.

“It’s been a long journey, and I’ve learned a lot about myself and my leadership skills and abilities,” Sapp said. “I am really glad to have the opportunity to serve the members over the next year across the country.”

As national president, Sapp will travel the country next year speaking to FFA members, sponsors and policymakers. His term began Oct. 27.

Sapp started at UF in spring 2012 and credits the AEC department, part of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, with helping him prepare both for the leadership role and for his career goal, teaching agricultural education in schools.

“Not only did they help me by going through some practice interview rounds, but being able to talk with the professors about the current and future state of agricultural education provided me with a great knowledge base and some ways to improve agricultural education and communication in the years to come,” he said.

Sapp, who grew up near the Panhandle in Madison, Fla., and graduated from Madison County High School, said he’s thankful for the support of his parents, Ed and Gina Sapp and AEC faculty including his adviser, assistant professor Andrew Thoron; professor Kirby Barrick; and department chair Ed Osborne.

Before becoming national president, Sapp served as president of the group in Florida. He started with FFA in middle school with a livestock project in which he showed a market hog at a local fair. He calls his father, a high school agriculture teacher, his biggest role model.

“Seeing him interacting with students in the classroom definitely played a major part in me wanting to become an agriculture teacher and wanting to be a servant in the FFA organization,” Sapp said.

After his term as president ends in 2013, Sapp plans to return to UF to finish his degree.

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Sources:

Writer: Robert H. Wells, 352-273-3569; rhwells@ufl.edu

Contact: Clay Sapp, sappc82@ufl.edu

Caption:

University of Florida student Clay Sapp has been elected president of the national FFA organization, also known as Future Farmers of America.  Sapp, a junior in UF’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ agricultural education and communication department, received the honor during the organization’s national meeting in October 2012 in Indianapolis. UF/CALS is a part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.