Submitted by Sarah Mallette, FFA Sponsor
Recent Lakeview High School graduate, Salem Johnson, retired from serving this year as 2019-20 State FFA Area II Vice President. The Louisiana FFA State Officer team consists of 10 elected members who serve Louisiana as youth ambassadors for The National FFA organization and agriculture. Johnson was elected in June 2019 after completing several interview rounds at the FFA State Convention in Alexandria. Upon election, she and nine other state office team members began their training as state officers facilitated by the National FFA Organization.
Their summer training immediately began after State Convention with Base Camp where the team focused on areas such as sound character, positive influence, professionalism and time management. Their next training was Checkpoint where they collaborated with Mississippi and Alabama state officers and focus on creating successful workshops, public speaking, conversation skills and team dynamics. Another training, State Officer Summit, was completed in Washington D.C., and focused on serving as an advocate for agriculture and FFA, as well as communicating clear messages related to agriculture and FFA.
These trainings prepared the state officer team to facilitate a leadership camp open to all Louisiana members during the course of three weeks of summer. Johnson created and presented workshops to members as well as met with agriculture teachers from all areas of the state. Throughout the year, she visited over 15 chapters across the state to recruit members, provide leadership training to chapter officers and celebrate chapter accomplishments.
In October, she served as a voting delegate at the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo to make decisions that will affect over 700,000 FFA members. Johnson took advantage of the opportunity to travel abroad with International Leadership Seminar for State Officers through National FFA, along with 70 selected state officers from around the nation, to study agriculture in Spain and Portugal for two weeks. She and her team advocated for FFA and agriculture throughout the year by meeting with stakeholders, conducting conferences and helping facilitate career and leadership development events.
Due to Covid-19, Louisiana FFA’s state officer team faced many challenges during the end of their year to serve, one the 2020 State FFA Convention. She and her team conducted the first virtual State Convention, where they presented their retiring addresses, acknowledged member accomplishments and recognized chapter achievements.
The newly elected state officer team was officially installed at the conclusion, allowing Johnson and her team to retire from their year of service. Johnson will attend Louisiana State University to pursue a degree in Agricultural Leadership and Development.
Her Retiring Address and Convention sessions can be viewed on Louisiana FFA’s Youtube Channel.