FFA thriving at the expo

January 25, 2019
FFA executive director Jillian Lash, left and region coordinator Pat Earle, speak with a colleague about agriculture education.

FLORENCE, S.C. – Recently retired McBee agriculture teacher Pat Earle now is the Region 3 and 4 coordinator with the Agricultural Education Team at Clemson University.

Earle was helping to man the Future Farmers of America (FFA) booth Thursday at the S.C. AgriBiz & Farm Expo at the Florence Center.

FFA schools were in attendance Wednesday at the expo, but only a portion of the 7,600 statewide members show up in any given year.

Earle is a second-generation ag educator from McBee.

“My father (E.B. Earle) taught for 41 years,” he said. “I grew up in the program, and I have taught for 31 years at McBee. When my father retired, I took his place.”

One of his students, Emily McDaniel, is the state vice president for FFA.

Earle will have an office in Darlington County and resides in Hartsville.

Along with Earle in the booth Thursday was Jillian Lash, who is the new South Carolina FFA executive director.

“We will have the state convention in June at Clemson University,” she said. “We will have over 1,000 members, advisers and guests.”

Lash is a Clemson grad and has spent 17 years in the classroom, 14 of which came at Lakewood High School in Sumter. She has garnered several state and region awards from the S.C. Association of Ag Educators.

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