STEPHENVILLE (August 24, 2016) — A generous contribution from local banking institution, InterBank, will help Tarleton State University prepare more than three dozen National FFA Officer candidates during its upcoming candidate preparatory academy hosted by the College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences.
On Tuesday, InterBank’s Central Texas region president Mark Martin presented a $5,000 donation to the college prior to the Sept. 22-24 Tarleton FFA academy.
“I cannot begin to express my appreciation to InterBank for their gracious support of Tarleton’s National FFA Officer Candidate Preparatory Academy,” said academy organizer Dr. David Frazier, assistant professor of agricultural education and consumer sciences. “This donation will enable 35-plus National FFA officer candidates from across the United States gain first-hand experience as to how the national FFA officer process works.”
Candidates will receive critiques and evaluations from Tarleton faculty and students that will help them prepare for the final FFA officer selection process that occurs in Indianapolis in October, Frazier said. “It is a win-win as the candidates receive training and the Tarleton State University students get to work with some of the most talented FFA members in the country.”
“InterBank’s investment in this program ensures that Tarleton students continue to be at the forefront of providing service to the National FFA Organization through their efforts of training and evaluating national FFA officer candidates,” Frazier added. “Knowing that Tarleton had a small part in preparing the candidates for the selection process gives me reason to be proud.”
With over 620,000 FFA members nation-wide, only six will be chosen to lead as National FFA Officers. The officer team will then spend a year traveling across the U.S., representing the National FFA Organization.
The contribution will help cover expenses in providing transportation for candidates to and from DFW Airport as they travel from all corners of the U.S. to Stephenville for the three-day workshop, and help defray lodging and meal expenses.
“InterBank is proud to be associated with Tarleton State University and its College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences as well as this Officer Candidate Preparatory Academy in particular,” said Martin. “The training program is obviously very successful when you compare the roster of national officers to the names of those who have attended this annual academy.”
Candidates have the opportunity to fine-tune their interview, presentation and organizational skills as well as their interpersonal communication techniques. Agri-science students from several area high schools also participate in the workshop and serve as audience members during a session designed to improve candidates’ abilities to facilitate group discussion and activities.
Frazier has worked with national FFA officer candidates for several years, helping them understand the process and how to perform required skills ahead of the annual National FFA Convention each October. Last year, Frazier helped train 36 candidates. In 2014, five of the six candidates attending the academy were elected to fill the national FFA officer positions.