• 68°

Newman is an FFA standout

A passion for livestock and agriscience has led to much success for Cumberland High School (CHS) graduate Jordan Newman after he was recently awarded the Future Farmers of America (FFA) State Star Award in agribusiness.


Newman, 18, of Cartersville, joined CHS’ FFA program in seventh grade after raising sheep on his family’s farm instilled in him an interest in agriculture. He combined a similar curiosity of marketing/business in order to begin competing in the FFA’s agriscience competition.

Throughout his years at CHS, Newman focused on the animal systems category of agriscience. He used his experiences with raising sheep to conduct experiments, which he would then present to judges at FFA conventions each year.

Newman placed first in his category every year of the competition, and his repeated success reached new heights in mid June when he learned he’d received the State Star award.

The accolades do not stop there. Newman has also this year received his FFA agriscience proficiency award, an honor reserved for students who have done exceptionally well in their category.

Newman has held a variety of officer positions over the last several years with FFA, including president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. He competed in the Big E Regional competition his eighth-grade year and the national competition his freshman and sophomore years. He hopes to participate in another national competition this year.

After summer, Newman plans to use his passion for agriculture and success with the FFA to attend college at Virginia Tech, where he plans to study agribusiness under the university’s renowned College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“It felt great knowing that all of my hard work has paid off,” he said.

Joshua Fleenor, who came to CHS this year as the new FFA Advisor and agriculture instructor, was quick to express his pride in Newman’s accomplishments.

“Jordan has continually demonstrated exceptional teamwork and leadership skills as a student and a member of FFA,” he said. “The CuCPS (Cumberland County Public Schools) community could not be more proud of the accomplishments Jordan has made throughout his career, especially this year, as a CHS FFA member. Jordan exemplifies the attributes of a true leader and will undoubtedly achieve success as a young emerging leader in the agriculture community. The CHS family looks forward to following Jordan along his journey.”

Fleenor said he is currently in the process of revitalizing the agriculture program at CHS. This year, students were introduced to more intense curriculum, including creating small business plans, establishing a 112 square foot aquaponics system, raising vegetables and flower crops in the school’s greenhouses, growing berries, utilizing online marketing for greenhouse products and participating in the farm to table program to offer fresh, locally-grown food to be served in the cafeteria.

Fleenor said CHS’s agriculture and FFA programs also hosted a successful spring plant sale just before Mother’s Day, and the school has developed a partnership with the local Delma’s Pantry and the Center for Rural Culture in order to assist in food distributions and establish agricultural awareness throughout the community.

“The leadership and quality of our CHS students and FFA members coupled with the support of administration and the community will undoubtedly see Cumberland High School Agriculture and FFA find its way to being one of the best agriculture and FFA programs in the state,” Fleenor added. “It may be a lofty goal, but it is one I have confidence in.”