TTU’s James Flatt named 2010-11 National FFA Southern Region Vice President

thumb_flattJames FlattTennessee Tech University sophomore James Flatt of Lebanon has been selected 2010-11 National FFA Southern Region vice president, the second TTU student in two years to hold the national office.

This is the first time in 78 years that a Tennessee student has been named to national FFA office two years consecutively. It is the first time students from TTU have been named to national FFA office in back-to-back years.

Flatt, an agribusiness management major, succeeds Chelsea Doss of Eagleville, who was the 2009-10 National FFA Southern Region vice president.

"Chelsea was actually the first state officer that I remember coming to my high school and giving a workshop during her state officer year," Flatt said. "Since then, we've talked and she was one of the ones who encouraged me to run for state office."

The FFA national officer selection process is intense, Flatt said. It begins with 36 candidates who undergo a rigorous series of tests, writing exercises and interviews with leaders in industry and education.

Flatt served as state president of the Tennessee FFA Association. He said there's nothing quite like wearing the iconic blue corduroy FFA jacket

"For me in high school, I did a lot of different things; I sang in choir, I ran cross country," he said. "But that jacket was home for me. It was that place where I was always comfortable. It represented the things I wanted to achieve: success and a sense of service-leadership."

Fulfilling his FFA national office will require him to travel more than 100,000 miles to meet leaders in business, government and education; visiting some 40 states; and participating in an international experience tour to Japan. His responsibilities will include providing personal growth and leadership training for high school students, setting policies that shape the future of the organization and promoting agricultural literacy.

Flatt credits the agriculture faculty at TTU, especially David Frazier, assistant agriculture professor, for helping him prepare for this experience.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization with more than 500,000 student members – all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture – as part of 7,429 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name, FFA, in 1988 in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education.

After his year as vice president, Flatt plans to return to TTU and begin work on a minor in political science. Eventually, he'd like to go to law school and become involved with politics.

Flatt is the son of Douglas and Tawana Flatt of Lebanon.