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Moore leading 'sea of blue jackets'

August 16, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

CLEAR SPRING -- Allison Moore didn't grow up on a farm. She wasn't even active in 4-H as a child.

But when the new president of the Maryland FFA attended a national convention with her Clear Spring High School chapter in 2005, she decided an agricultural career was right for her.

"I looked out at a sea of blue jackets and I knew it was what I wanted to do," Allison said.

Now, four years later, she is doing just that.

The daughter of Doug and Cindy Moore of Clear Spring, Allison, 18, is a sophomore at Frostburg (Md.) State University. She is majoring in fish and wildlife management with a minor in forestry and biology.

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"I love the outdoors," said Allison, who recently returned from a four-day national FFA leadership conference in Gettysburg, Pa.

She has fond memories of helping her grandfather in the garden. And her dad took her hunting and fishing regularly when she was growing up.

Allison was elected to the state's highest office when more than 250 FFA members from across Maryland gathered June 23 to 25 for the 81st Maryland FFA Convention in Baltimore.

She will serve for the 2009-10 school year, traveling across Maryland visiting local FFA chapters, conducting leadership workshops for members, meeting with business and industry representatives, and promoting the FFA youth organization.

Allison said she has already represented the Maryland FFA at the National FFA State Leaders Training in Washington, D.C. In September, she is bound for the Eastern States Career Events in Springfield, Mass., and then the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis in October.

The FFA is the premiere leadership organization for high school students enrolled in agricultural education programs. While at Clear Spring, Allison served as the 2006-07 chapter secretary and 2007-08 chapter president.

Allison has participated in career-development events, including those on public speaking, agricultural issues, agricultural communications, food science and land judging.

She was a member of the forestry team that placed fifth at the National FFA Convention in 2008.

"I had great advisers," Allison said.

She credited Susan Lowery and Terrie Shank with keeping her on track and heading in the right direction.

FFA has changed over the years and most recently it became identified solely as FFA rather than Future Farmers of America.

"It still means the same, but we also have a number of city chapters," Allison said. "The emphasis is now more on agricultural education."

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