From left: Jaiden Linley, Zalexus Actkinson and Oscar Martinez enjoyed some conversation and greeted people as they entered the reception.

HOUSTON – The Houston High School chapter of FFA recently celebrated their 60th anniversary. They held a reception at the Houston High School Career Technical Education center on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

The reception was open to all FFA members, past and present, to come and enjoy the success the chapter has achieved in its 60 years.

There was another reason for the event as well. The Houston chapter is hoping to set up an FFA alumni and supporters organization in Houston. The group would be open to all past members of Houston FFA as well as non-members who desire to help the chapter.

According to Monte Ladner, State Coordinator of Mississippi FFA Alumni and Supporters, these groups are the support behind the clubs. They assist their FFA Chapter in going to competitions, help with fundraisers and chaperone when needed. These are just a few of the things that they do, however.

“It is just an organized way to assist chapters in achieving their goals,” said Ladner.

The Houston FFA has a very favorable track record that should make an Alumni and Supporters organization favorable.

The chapter was established in 1959, with James Marion as the Agriculture teacher. Marion taught from 1959-1965. Since then, there have been four Ag. Teachers, Doug Love from 1965-1978, Jim Sappington from 1978-1989, Robert Burdine from 1989-2007 and Karen Cook from 2007-present.

There is also a long list of achievements under Houston’s belt, and some of the highlights include:

– 10 state championships in various categories.

– 33 first place awards

– 11 national chapter awards in 1966, 1967, 1972 and eight that have been consistently awarded since 2010.

There was a good turnout at the event, and according to Cook, that was a good sign.

“Parents are very supportive,” she said. “This is a good way to see that everyone is on the same page.”

There has been no definite time line laid out for an Alumni and Supporters chapter yet, but the Houston FFA is ready to take that step as soon as possible.

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