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Steves Named New State FFA President
Making history, Escalon High School senior Kristen Steves was elected State President for the California Future Farmers of America, FFA, at the recent FFA Convention in Fresno.

She is the second state president to come from Escalon and the first state officer since Tommy Bottoms spent a year in service as State Sentinel a few years ago.

"The first round, we had an hour-long test, of our agriculture knowledge, FFA history, parliamentary procedure," Steves explained of the rigorous procedure she underwent in seeking a state office. "Then there are interview rounds, personal rounds, it started out with 60 (candidates) and then it drops down to 22, then 16, then the final 12."

Of those 12, six state officers are selected, with two put up for each of the offices. Candidates do not run for a specific office themselves; delegates determine which office each of the finalists will be slated for and then they are voted on by the FFA members themselves.

Steves said she was somewhat shocked when she found herself to be among the final 12 - and even more astonished when her name wasn't announced as a candidate until they got to the office of president.

"We gave our speeches, campaigned," she said of wooing votes from among the several thousand FFA members attending from across the state.

When the winners of the voting were announced, Steves said she was almost in shock that she had been named as the state's new FFA president.

"I think I was numb for a little bit ... I was shaking," she confessed. "You run onto the stage and into the team, hugging and crying, then you get installed."

Each of the officers elected was brought on stage, with Steves the last one to join the group. Once installed, she presided over the closing ceremonies of the State FFA Conference, which ran from April 19 through 22 in Fresno.

Once she walks across the stage at Escalon High to receive her high school diploma on Friday, May 30, she will embark on the education of a lifetime.

"We are considered interns for the California Department of Education," Steves explained. "We will be advocating for agriculture, promoting leadership and personal growth, attend charity events and be representatives for FFA across the sate."

Her year in the state office will include plenty of travel, as the state officer team will put on conferences and visit FFA chapters throughout California.

"You take an entire year off before college," she added. "You grow and mature, become more prepared for life ... it'll definitely be a worthwhile year."

Officers elected were president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, reporter and sentinel.