First Ky. State FFA president from Adair takes office


Only two weeks ago, Trenton Page and his classmates were featured on the cover of Cow Country News magazine. Now, he is the president of Kentucky FFA.
“It still feels like a dream,” Page said.
Page’s win came at the 95th Kentucky FFA State Convention where over 2,500 Kentucky FFA members gathered in Lexington from June 4 through June 6.
Part of the convention involves electing state officers who will represent Kentucky’s FFA program on a national stage to the nearly 1 million registered FFA members across the United States.
Not only is his election a significant personal accomplishment (he has been working toward the presidency since seventh grade), it is historic for the area: Page is the first Adair Countian and the first from the Lake Cumberland region to hold the position of Kentucky FFA president.
Page’s achievement is even more impressive when one considers how he became president. Kentucky FFA is composed of 12 regions, where two candidates from each region advance to the state election following a lengthy campaign process where regional delegates grade them on their professionalism among other criteria.
According to district agriculture educator and FFA advisor Gabby Barnes, some regions have the funds to hire professionals who help coach their students through this process. Adair County, and most other counties in the Lake Cumberland area, do not have these resources. To compensate, Trenton did the legwork largely on his own.
“He is very self-motivated,” said Adair County FFA leader Kirby Hancock. “He did his research and put his time in, and it paid off.”
Once at the state convention, candidates must promote themselves through a second, short campaign similar to the regional one. According to the state FFA constitution, every region is guaranteed one state officer, so every regional candidate that was announced as a winner during convention meant the pool for president was being whittled down. Eventually, only two remained—both from Lake Cumberland. Either way, history was about to be made.
The Kentucky FFA president has a myriad of responsibilities. This week, Page will be returning to Lexington with other officers for training. After that, the president is expected to travel thousands of miles around the state and give speeches to local FFA chapters at banquets as well as represent Kentucky at a national FFA conference in Washington, DC. Page is also on the board for the Kentucky State Fair.
“I have my own parking spot [at the fair],” he said. “Which is pretty cool.”
Beyond electing state officers, the Kentucky FFA Convention also hosts numerous workshops, speakers, career panels, contests and competitions, including a talent show. In these competitions, Adair County had a successful year.
Harper Grider placed second in the Equine Placement Proficiency contest and was one of 12 regional stars in Ag Placement. Abby Maulden took home fourth place in the Creed contest. The Kentucky FFA Record Keeping champions are Brody Karnes, Addie Baker, Lane Kelsay, and Autumn Pennington, whose team is the first from Adair County to win the competition.
In yet another first, the Adair County Middle School FFA attended the state convention. At their inaugural attendance, this group took part in the Middle School Quiz Contest, which Page likens to an academic team-style meet. They were initially seeded at 15 out of 16 teams.
They finished the contest in second place.
In what is certainly characteristic of his new title, Page was, of course, present to celebrate with the middle school team.
As for Page’s future, as a Kentucky state officer (and one of only 96 state presidents in history) he will have the opportunity to network with agriculture leaders across the state and country.
“It’s a great resume builder,” said Matt Chaliff, executive secretary of the Kentucky FFA.
For now, though, reality has yet to set in for the new president.
“The most I’ve represented is 170 at a chapter level,” Page said. “Representing 22,000 in the state and over 900,000 nationally…It’ll take a while to dawn on me, definitely.”
By Kenley Godby

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