Jayden McMillian elected as FFA State Secretary

Published 4:43 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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Jayden McMillian, rising senior at McKenzie School. has been elected the 2023-2024 Future Farmers of America (FFA) State Secretary. 

Ryan McNaughton, Mckenzie High School FFA advisor, praised Jayden for a job well done.

“This is an outstanding accomplishment to be elected a state officer, and we are super proud of Jayden,” McNaughton said. “He earned it.”

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National FFA, is an organization that supports agriculture education for middle and high school students. As members of the Butler County Career Technology (CTE) program, students are prepared for the work force and gain valuable leadership skills. 

On June 29, 2022, Jayden served as an Alabama FFA South District officer and got a chance to attend a tomato luncheon for farmers in Montgomery. 

Alabama FFA supports three districts, covering the state. According to Jayden, while at the meeting, an African American woman asked to take a picture with him to show her son, “so that he can see that he can also prosper in FFA, even as a minority, and the field of agriculture as well.” 

Jayden said at that moment, he knew that he wanted to run for state office. “Representation matters,” he explained . Jayden said that he immediately reached out to McNaughton and expressed his desire to become a state officer.

McNaughton said it was not until 1965 that minorities were able to join the organization, when an act of Congress prohibited segregation in public schools. 

In 1973, Frederick McClure from Texas became the first African American to be named a national officer with the FFA.

After expressing his desire to enter a leadership role, Jayden was determined to accomplish his goal. “A lot of kids express their dreams and future goals to me, but few have that ‘fire’ and drive, such as Jayden,” McNaughton said. “Jayden studied hard, made necessary sacrifices, and prepared wholeheartedly for the election process.”

Jayden said, “Two weeks ago, I went through a three-day interview process to become an Alabama FFA officer. The process consisted of a test, written assignment, public speaking, and 13 interviews, each part scored by a panel of 9 judges. There were a total of 12 candidates, and the 6th highest scoring made the officer team. I had the third highest score, landing a spot as the 2023-2034 Alabama FFA State Secretary.”

Agriculture is the largest and leading industry in the state of Alabama. Jayden aims to continue being a positive influence, and help grow FFA in Alabama. 

“I want to help keep the 32,000 plus members in Alabama informed about all of the opportunities available to them through this organization,” he said. “Thank you to my parents, my peers, and Mr. McNaugton for their unwavering support.”