FFA Leadership Training Camp opens for the season

May 29, 2024

Tennessee FFA Camp Clements became the nation's first FFA camp in 1927 and is the longest operating camp of its kind in America. Sold out and packed summer after summer, the camp hosts thousands of agricultural education students from across Tennessee for a week of leadership development.
The new Tennessee Farm Bureau Centennial Pavilion opened just in time for the 2024 camp season. The structure is named "Centennial Pavilion" in recognition of 100 years of both Farm Bureau and FFA.
The timber frame pavilion was built by Honest Abe Log Homes of Moss and J&S Construction of Cookeville with contributions from the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, Farm Bureau Health Plans, and Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee. Both Honest Abe Log Homes and J&S Construction donated materials to assist with the project.
The late Millard V. Oakley of Livingston also contributed $50,000 to the project just weeks before his passing in 2022. Both he and his late wife, JJ Oakley, will be honored as benefactors of the project. The couple owned numerous businesses and farmed in Overton and surrounding counties. The Oakleys were perhaps best known for their generosity to the community.
More than 100 guests, including sponsors, dignitaries, and FFA members were on hand to cut the ribbon and declare the facility open for the season.
Van Buren County High School FFA members assisted with the construction of the podium and tables. Monterey High School FFA members assisted with the florals at the facility. White County FFA members were on hand to celebrate the occasion as well.
The 2024-2025 State FFA Officer Team kicked off the event. Those officers included State President T. Wayne Williams of Woodbury, State Secretary Shelbi Wallace of McEwen, West Tennessee Vice President Sarah Ault of Munford, Middle Tennessee Vice President Skylar Baird of Wilson Central, East Tennessee Vice President Emily Whitehead of William Blount, State Treasurer Eli Julian of Cookeville, State Reporter Paige Pardue of Hendersonville, and State Sentinel Lexi Rush of Portland.
The pavilion is the first new structure at the camp since 1990 when a riverfront amphitheater was installed. The camp is owned by the Tennessee FFA Association and leased to the State of Tennessee. The camp season will run from Memorial Day through late July. Many other FFA training events and meetings are held at Camp Clements throughout the year. For information about Camp Clements, visit https://tnffa.org/camp-clements.
For more articles similar to this, see the latest edition of The Cooperator.

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