C. Coleman Harris retires as National FFA executive secretary

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INDIANAPOLIS -- The National FFA Organization announced that National FFA Executive Secretary C. Coleman Harris retired from his position at the U. S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., effective Sept. 3, 2007. He had served as executive secretary for 30 years since July 1977. A search for his replacement has begun.

As national FFA executive secretary, Harris planned and arranged meetings of the National FFA Organization Board of Directors and the National FFA Foundation Board of Trustees. He assisted Larry Case, national FFA advisor and chief executive officer, in overseeing, developing, maintaining and implementing policy for the National FFA Organization and the National FFA Foundation. Harris also served as secretary to the National Council for Agricultural Education, a premier leadership organization for shaping and strengthening school-based agricultural education at all levels in the nation.

Harris logged more than 45 years of service to agricultural education and FFA.

A graduate of Purdue University, Harris has Indiana roots. In 1961, he served as an agricultural education teacher and FFA advisor at Southeastern School Corporation in Walton, Ind. for three years. He then became the Indiana FFA executive secretary before moving to the National FFA Organization as an education program specialist in 1967, where he served 10 years. During that time, he worked with the development of FFA award programs, regional leadership activities and coaching the national FFA officers.

"As executive secretary of the National FFA Organization, Coleman has played an important role in the organization's work during the past three decades, and his leadership and support of the organization have been tremendous," said Douglas Loudenslager, national FFA chief operating officer.

"I will miss my partner in Washington, D.C., but celebrate with him his many accomplishments and achieving this milestone," said Larry Case, national FFA advisor and CEO.

The U.S. Department of Education provides the National FFA Organization two professional staff members designated and assigned to fulfill the roles, duties and responsibilities of the national FFA advisor and the national FFA executive secretary.

Harris, his wife Jean and their family plan to attend the 80th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis Oct. 24-27, 2007.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 495,046 student members - all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture - as part of 7,242 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

SOURCE: National FFA Organization.

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