David Townsend has been elected as the National FFA President of the 2016-17 National Officer team by the delegates of the 89th National FFA Convention.
He is the first member from Delaware to be elected as the National FFA President and only the third member from Delaware to ever hold a national office since the inception of the Career & Technical Student Organization known as the National FFA in 1929.
Townsend is a 2014 graduate of Middletown High School. He was very active in the Middletown FFA chapter and agriscience program, led by Jeff Billings and Cheryl Vest.
In March 2014, Townsend was elected as the 2014-2015 Delaware FFA State Treasurer, serving a membership of more than 10,000 students. He is currently attending the University of Delaware studying Agriculture & Natural Resources and Plant Sciences.
National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization, which requires them to take a year off from college. Each National FFA Officer 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 to personal growth and leadership training conferences for FFA members throughout the country and help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.
As the National FFA President, Townsend will serve a global ambassador while traveling abroad to Japan to learn about international agriculture and share his passion of agriculture with the Japanese equivalent of the National FFA.
As he prepares to spend his next year engaging with FFA members he said he's looking forward to hearing those individuals’ stories all over the country and the world.
"Everyone has had unique and different experiences leading them to that point they are at now," said Townsend in a press release. "It is our responsibility to learn from every single person that we meet to obtain a more objective view of the world. Every single person has a unique perspective on life – something that they know that is unique to them and different."
Joining Townsend on the 2016-17 National FFA Officer team are:
Secretary – Victoria Harris, University of Florida;
Eastern Region Vice President – Ashley Willits, Tarleton State University;
Southern Region Vice President – DeShawn Blanding, North Carolina A&T State University;
Western Region Vice President – Trey Elizondo, Texas A&M University;
Central Region Vice President – Valerie Earley, University of Minnesota.
The Middletown High School Agricultural Education program and all of its members, building educators, staff, friends and supporters are proud and excited that one of our members has reached such a monumental achievement, according to a press release.
"We wish him all the best as he focuses on the extraordinary journey ahead and we can’t wait to see the incredible impact that he and his fellow officers will have on FFA members, agricultural education and the agricultural industry," said FFA advisors Jeff Billings and Cheryl Vest.
For more information about this year’s National Officer Team or about FFA or agricultural education, see the website www.ffa.org.