2018 Grand Marshal
Dresden Chapter of the Future Farmers of America
The FFA organization began in the United States in 1928 and just 18 years later in 1946 the Dresden FFA Chapter began. The chapter was chartered under the first agriculture teacher at Dresden High School (DHS) Mr. VJ Shanklin who taught 35 years. In 1948 our chapter president office was held by Ned Ray McWherter, whom later became Governor of Tennessee from 1987-1995. He always made reference to his parliamentary procedure skills taught to him by Mr. Shanklin in his agriculture classes at DHS.
In 1971 the Weakley County Livestock Production Program began and today is still going strong, in fact this Livestock Production Program is the last of its kind in the state of Tennessee. The Livestock Production program offers students a hands on experience in production agriculture through the Large Animal Science classes where students help operate a farrow to finish hog operation, cow/ calf operation, hay and small grain production and practice veterinarian skills. Large Animal Science, Veterinary Science and Small Animal Care classes are taught under Mr. Jason Kemp who has been teaching at DHS for 15 years. The agriculture program offers Agriscience, Agriculture Mechanics, and Agriculture Power and Machinery taught under Mr. Jonathan Holden, this being his first year at DHS. The agriculture department offers Landscape and Greenhouse Management taught under Mr. Bert Snow, this is also his first year at DHS.
The chapter has continued through the years to display leadership and has done well in FFA Career Development Events (CDE), winning the West TN FFA Championship Cup 1975 under the leadership Mr. Larry Houston and Mr. Billy Vestal. The FFA Chapter has been represented at the state level in leadership by three individuals that served as Tennessee FFA State Officers, they are as follows: Michael Palmer 1991-92 FFA State Reporter, Ben Moore 1995-96 FFA State President and Rachel Paschall 2003-04 FFA State Reporter and continuing to compete at the state level this year with 4 state finalist. Today the chapter has 138 members and is one of the states 100% affiliated chapter.
The Dresden FFA Alumni Chapter was started in 1984 under the leadership of Mr. Ray Griffith who taught 35 years at DHS and Mr. Larry Houston who taught for 31 years at DHS. Today the alumni chapter has 186 lifetime members and is continuing to grow annually, now ranking as one of the largest FFA Alumni Chapters in our state.
We are very humbled to have been awarded this great honor of Grand Marshal in the 2018 Dresden Iris Festival Parade. Please let our chapter members know you see them as they walk by in the parade.