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New District Reporter Chase Roberts, Wetumpka High FFA advisor Joe Brown and incoming Alabama FFA President William Norris at this past week’s Alabama FFA Convention. Contributed photo
New District Reporter Chase Roberts, Wetumpka High FFA advisor Joe Brown and incoming Alabama FFA President William Norris at this past week’s Alabama FFA Convention. Contributed photo

WHS grad, Norris named state FFA president

Published 4:36am Monday, June 17, 2013

Last week Wetumpka’s William Norris was installed as president of the Alabama FFA during the group’s 85th annual convention. The three-day event drew FFA members from across the state to the Montgomery Renaissance and Montgomery Performing Arts Centre.
In addition to being chosen as president, Norris won five competition awards:
•First place – extemporaneous public speaking. The win qualifies him to participate in the national competition to be held in October in Louisville, Ky.
•First place – nursery operations. His Supervised Agricultural Experience Program (SAEP) involved grafting Japanese maples and selling them to nurseries and businesses. The win qualifies him for national competition.
•Second place – Ag mechanics and energy systems.
•Second place – plant systems.
•Fourth place – Ag mechanics, design and fabrication.
WHS FFA advisor Joe Brown said Norris is only the second state FFA president to serve following his graduation from high school rather than while still a student.
“William gave up a scholarship to Mississippi State to pursue this,” said Brown. “The experience he will gain as president was that important to him. But he hopes the scholarship offer will be renewed for next year.”
Norris has already been swept up into a whirlwind of activities. He attended a multi-day conference this past week, a national meeting is on his schedule and more activities loom beyond those.
“As Alabama FFA president I’ll get to go across the state and work with FFA groups,” said Norris. “I’ll have an opportunity to help FFA chapters everywhere in the state.
“I’ll also get to travel to Washington, D.C. and to participate in other national FFA activities. The FFA is the largest student-led group in the world.”
He said when his year as president is complete, he will resume his college plans.
Norris wasn’t the only Wetumpka resident to garner recognition at the convention.
WHS FFA member Chase Roberts was chosen to fill a district office – reporter. He also placed second in the state in the turf grass management category.
“Chase inherited lawn equipment from his granddaddy and started his own lawn maintenance and grass cutting business,” said Brown. “He will be able to compete in the same category again next year.
“He also received his state FFA degree as a result of his earnings.”
Brown said the local chapter is proud of its members’ service at the state level.
“Wetumpka has had more state presidents than any other chapter,” he said. “William makes six. He is the second president I’ve had as advisor – there were four others before I was here.
“Altogether I’ve had four state officers from my students. Whitney Wood was president in 1996-97, Jeanie Edwards was reporter in 1998-99 and Mary Helen Jones was vice president in 2009-10.”

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