4/8/2014 6:00 AM
By Amber Bullock Delmarva Correspondent
NEWARK, Del. — With the help of Delaware FFA, supporter Allen Chorman was reunited with a keepsake he has been missing for nearly 50 years — his very own FFA jacket. He may have lost his jacket after lending it to a high school sweetheart, but the memories and passion for FFA never faded.
During the 84th Delaware FFA State Convention on March 26-27, Chorman was presented with a new FFA jacket replicating his lost one from the Lewes FFA Chapter — now known as the Cape Henlopen FFA Chapter — which included his name, office of chapter president and years he served, 1964-65.
The jacket also includes the old FFA emblem that features the words “Vocational Agriculture,” which was replaced by “Agricultural Education,” in 1988. Stacey Hofmann, Delaware FFA executive secretary, said, “We had to get special permission from National FFA to recreate the jacket for display purposes only since the emblem and color of the lettering has since been changed.”
Chorman, who was surprised by the new jacket presentation, said: “Receiving my new jacket was one of the best experiences of my life. I am very appreciative and I guarantee no one is getting this FFA jacket from me.”
He also said that the work ethic and leadership he learned in FFA has carried on through his whole life, helping him to establish a successful crop dusting business in Sussex County, Delaware, which he owns and operates with his son, Jeff.
Also during the state convention, 299 high school and middle school FFA members from 32 chapters throughout the state competed in 10 different career development events, CDEs, which are opportunities for the students to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to real-life situations in sales, public speaking and commodity judging events. FFA members placing first in their CDE events earn a trip to the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., in October.
Special awards were presented to longtime supporters of Delaware FFA. Honorary State Degrees were awarded to Denis Shaffer of Growmark FS, and T. Scott Unruh, Stewart Ramsey Jr. and Gary Warren, all of Delaware Farm Bureau. Honorary American Degrees were presented to Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the College of Agriculture & Related Sciences at Delaware State University, and Stacey Hofmann, executive secretary of the Delaware FFA Association.
Delaware FFA members and state officers were also joined by state officers from four different states, including National FFA Eastern Region Vice President Wes Davis of West Virginia. Visiting state officers presented leadership workshops and assisted nearly 80 students with a day of community service.
A highlight of the state convention was the election of the new state officer team. The 2014-15 team includes: President AJ Cannon, Seaford FFA; Vice President Jovon Townsend, Indian River FFA; Secretary Jordan Karr, Sussex Central FFA; Treasurer David Townsend, Middletown FFA; Reporter Evan Davis, Delmar FFA; and Sentinel Stanley Gaffrey, Middletown FFA.
Additional Award highlights:
State Degree recipients: Jenna Deal, Appoquinimink FFA; Kalina Celio and Michaela Fox, Caesar Rodney FFA; Lynsey Abrahart and Cady Cooper, Cape Henlopen FFA; Kyle King and Charles Rhem, Delmar FFA; Graeleigh Lackey, Dover FFA; Mackenzie Gurzenski, Glasgow FFA; Julia Carter, Jessica Joachmowski and Jovon Townsend, Indian River FFA; Cole Elliott, Mackenzie Ivory, Mark Shahan Jr. and Dalton Willey, Lake Forest FFA; Sara Bednash, Megan CanneLongo, Stanley Gaffrey, Darion Gregg, Courtney Lester and David Townsend, Middletown FFA; Katie Hopkins, Katie Maloney and Eleanor Pittman, Milford FFA; Caylee Conner, Newark FFA; AJ Cannon, Seaford FFA; Brendan Cook, Amber Counsellor, Laura Frederico, Tyler Hartsock, Amanda Hotaling, Sarah McHale, Jenna Scuse, Heather Tolliver and Gabrielle Virdin, Smyrna FFA; Courtney Betschner, Sussex Central FFA; and Iva Pritchett, Woodbridge FFA.
State Star in Agriculture Placement, Stanley Gaffrey, Middletown FFA; State Star in Agribusiness, AJ Cannon, Seaford FFA; and State Star in Agriscience, Heather Tolliver, Smyrna FFA.
American Degree Candidates: Michelle Bullock and Melanie Jackson, Lake Forest FFA; AJ Cannon, Seaford FFA; and Anthony Brooks, Sussex Central FFA.
Proficiency Award winners: Agricultural Processing-Placing, Jason Voss, Smyrna FFA; Agricultural Sales-Placement, Gabrielle Petty, Lake Forest FFA; Beef Production-Placement, Jennifer Savin, Smyrna FFA; Dairy Production-Entrepreneurship, Mindy Cook, Caesar Rodney FFA; Diversified Agricultural Production-Placement, Cady Cooper, Cape Henlopen FFA; Diversified Horticulture-Placement, Kalina Celia, Caesar Rodney FFA; Diversified Livestock Production-Placement, Justin Butler, Caesar Rodney FFA; Equine Science-Placement, Taylor Dixon, Smyrna FFA; Goat Production-Entrepreneurship/Placement, McKenzie Ivory, Lake Forest FFA; Home & Community Development-Placement, Kylee Gardner, Lake Forest FFA; Small Animal Production and Care-Placement, Darion Greg, Middletown FFA.; Vegetable Production-Placement, Charles Rhem, Delmar FFA; Veterinary Science-Placement, Michaela Fox, Caesar Rodney FFA; and Wildlife Production and Management-Entrepreneurship, Colby Rash, Caesar Rodney FFA.