Wesley Davis had a characteristic reaction to learning that he had been elected Eastern Region Vice President for the National Future Farmers of America organization. The West Virginia University student was sitting in a Louisville auditorium with thousands of his peers at the FFA national convention, meeting the organization's new leadership roster. "As soon as I heard, 'From the State of West Virginia…' I just started running."
Each year at the National FFA Convention and Expo, six students are elected by delegates to represent the organization as National FFA officers. Delegates elect a president, secretary and vice presidents representing the central, southern, eastern and western regions of the country.
National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization. Each 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 personal growth and leadership training seminars for FFA members throughout the country and help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.
Davis, of Point Pleasant, is pursuing a dual major in agribusiness management and rural development and agricultural and extension education in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. He'll have to put his WVU education on hold for his year in office, but he expects the experience to be akin to "another degree tacked on to the ones I'll earn on campus."
While he doesn't come from a farming background, his Mason County home is heavily agricultural. His parents, Danny and Sonya, have been supportive of his interests since he pursued an agricultural course in high school. "I didn't know I wanted to pursue agricultural education until I was involved in FFA leadership," Davis admitted in a news release from WVU. Now he wants to work to develop programs for future agricultural educators and leaders.
Davis is the first West Virginian to hold a national office in the organization in 39 years.