The National Council for Agricultural Education (The Council) has named Dr. James Woodard the Director of Agricultural Education, FFA Board Chair and National FFA Advisor. Dr. Woodard was an FFA member as a student at Nicholls High School and also served as an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at Jeff Davis County High School.
Amendments to the National FFA Constitution and Bylaws adopted by the delegates at the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo stipulated that it is now the responsibility of The Council to appoint this leadership position. Dr. Woodard replaces Dr. Steve Brown, who has served as board chair and national advisor for the past 11 years. Dr. Brown recently retired from his position at the U.S. Department of Education after 39 years of service to the agricultural education profession.
In this role, Dr. Woodard will serve as chairperson of the National FFA Board of Directors, where he will provide oversight for the National FFA Organization. He will advise the National FFA Officers, the board of directors, and the National FFA Delegates and committees on matters of policy and will help the national officers conduct meetings. In this three-year renewable role, he will co-direct the joint governance committee of the National FFA Organization and the National FFA Foundation Board of Trustees and serve as an advocate for issues affecting FFA and agricultural education stakeholders.
Dr. Woodard currently serves as superintendent of the Morgan Charter School Systems in Madison, Ga. His agricultural education and FFA journey began at Nicholls High School in Coffee County. He began his collegiate studies as an agriculture major at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and later completed his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education at the University of Georgia.
In 2015, Dr. Woodard received his doctorate in education leadership and administration from the University of Georgia. He has been engaged in many capacities involving agricultural education since 1987, when he began his career as a high school agriculture teacher and FFA advisor in Jeff Davis County. He has had an impressive career as a leader in career and technical and agricultural education. Most notably, Dr. Woodard served as state director of agricultural education for the Georgia Department of Education from 2000-05, where he served as advisor for the Georgia FFA Association and president of the board of trustees for the Georgia FFA Foundation. He also served on the National FFA Board of Directors and National FFA Board of Trustees from 2002-05.From 2005-08, he served as state director for Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education in Georgia, where he provided direction for re-engineering career, technical, and agricultural education through the development of Georgia's Career Pathway System.
As an agricultural education teacher/leader, Dr. Woodard has spent his career in the classroom and in leadership positions providing direction for school systems to expand and improve secondary and postsecondary career and technical educational programming. “I feel overwhelmed with the magnitude of the responsibility bestowed upon me,” said Dr. Woodard. “I am honored to be named to a position that has the opportunity to influence so many current and future FFA members. My life was changed as a result of the leadership and direction provided by former National FFA Advisors. I appreciate their dedication and will work to continue my personal mission: To make a difference in the lives of students to the same degree my ag teacher made in my life.”