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south carolina's ffa state officers
Cooperative Extension: SC FFA


At the annual State FFA Convention, the South Carolina FFA Association elects six members to serve as a State FFA Officer. The State Officers will travel across the state to be an agricultural advocate, provide leadership and career training to FFA members, build positive relationships across the state and nation and serve as the face of the South Carolina FFA Association.

Use the link below to request all visits and workshops with the 2022-2023 SC FFA State Office Team. Only requests submitted through this form will be considered for officer assignments. Please contact Jillian Lash ( with any questions or concerns.

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Drake Ariail
State President

State President: Drake Arial

Lance Brown
State Secretary

State Secretary: Lance Brown

Cally Simpson
Region 1 Vice President

Region 1 Vice President: Cally Simpson

Caitlyn Krout
Region 2 Vice President

Region 2 Vice President: Caitlyn Krout

Bailee Ferich
Region 3 Vice President

Region 3 Vice President: Bailee Ferich

Lauren Knight
Region 4 Vice President

Region 4 Vice President: Lauren Knight

State President: Drake Ariail

Drake Arial, SC FFA presidentHometown: Lexington, SC

Chapter: Pelion FFA

SAE: My SAE is a paid placement in plant systems where I deal with the application of pesticides while following correct safety precautions and regulations. I work for Ariail’s Termite and Pest control, which is located in Murrells Inlet, SC. My duties require me to apply pesticides inside of homes while also being able to indicate structural issues to home foundations caused by insects.

Education: Freshman at Midlands Technical College with plans to transfer to Clemson University majoring in Agricultural Education.

Career Goal:  I aim to make a living out of doing what I love most, educating future agriculturalists.


The FFA was something I had always heard about ever since I got to middle school. We did not have a middle school chapter yet while I was in middle school, but there was a “club”. I did not think much of it because to my knowledge FFA was all about farming and I do not come from an agricultural background. A couple of years go by, and I am a freshman at Pelion High School; still having the same opinion about the FFA. I would begin to hear my friends rave about ag classes and how much they enjoyed them. Even though I mentioned that I do not come from an agricultural background, my family and I have always enjoyed being outside doing things such as hunting, fishing, riding the river, or cruising the woods.

Once I heard the FFA offered more than what I imagined, there was no looking back. I began to take ag classes during my sophomore year of high school. I would attend FFA meetings frequently and would be amazed to see the chapter officers at the time do what they do. The beginning of my FFA career was not as comfortable as I would have wanted it to be back then. My advisors would make me compete in competitions involving public speaking which I did not enjoy. At the time it felt like torture, but now I can see that my advisors had a bigger plan for me and why they pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. I competed in career development events such as creed speaking, forestry, soils, ag mech, and my personal favorite, wildlife. I served as chapter vice president my junior year and chapter president my senior year.

My advisors had mentioned running for state office throughout my high school years, but I was very hesitant because I was worried about the conflict with college. It would take the interaction between me and National FFA Southern Region Vice President, Erik Robinson for me to make up my mind. He was visiting my school for a chapter visit and as his time there was wrapping up, we had a very good conversation about running for state office. His belief in me gave me all the encouragement I needed to fill out my state officer candidate application and the rest is history.

Without the FFA, there are hundreds of people I would have never met and countless experiences that would never have been presented. Now serving as the 2022-2023 South Carolina State FFA President I am extremely humbled and appreciative of everyone who helped me get to where I am. As I go through my year of service I intend to give as much back to the organization and its members just as it gave to me.

State Secretary: Lance Brown

State Secretary: Lance BrownHometown: Salley, SC 

Chapter: Wagener-Salley FFA

SAE: My SAE is diversified agriculture production. I have lived and work on a fourth-generation family farm called Browns Bottom Farm located in Salley, SC. We produce Black angus beef cattle, Poultry for Amick Farm, and row crop production. Along with that we also have grown our hay production over the years where we cut, rake, and bale hay for local cow and horse farms to buy. 

Education: Freshman at Clemson University majoring in Agricultural Education

Career Goal: Become an Agriculture Educator in South Carolina then ultimately become and FFA Advisor. 


Coming into high school I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to join FFA. I loved agriculture and it was my passion, but I wasn’t a big people person at the time. My grandpa, dad, and brother were all in FFA, but I still wasn’t sure. I finally decided to join and to say that it has been the best time of my life would be an understatement. When I went to the National FFA Convention my freshman year, I met so many people that I am still in contact today.

It’s the connection that I have made over the past four years that has shaped my career. FFA has brought me out of my shell and if it wasn’t for my family and home FFA chapter giving me the support in all that I do I doubt I would be a State FFA officer this year.

If there’s one thing, I want you to take away from this it is that FFA is going to be what you put into it. There are so many opportunities that the organization offers and all you got to do is take your first step.

Region 1 Vice President: Cally Simpson

Region 1 Vice President: Cally SimpsonHometown: Pendleton, SC

Chapter: Pendleton FFA

SAE: My SAE is Agricultural Education. Through this SAE, I have been able to participate in farm day at The Champions Center for Special Children and Farm City Day at Pendleton High School. Along with this, I taught Environmental Science and Wildlife for a semester at Anderson Christian School. I will be continuing this SAE in the coming year by taking Teacher Cadet through Anderson University and participating in other educational events.

Education: Senior in high school at Pendleton High School

Career Goal: Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor


When I began taking agriculture classes, I had no idea where they could take me. I mean, I was a quiet kid, content to not talk in class and blend into the background. It wasn’t until my freshman year that this began to change. This change started when my advisor, Mr. Berry, told me I would be a State Officer one day. I didn't believe him, like I said, I was a quiet kid. There was no way I could talk to groups of people or get on stage like a state officer can, but then Mr. Berry told me more about Sydney Gambrell (the 2019-2020 SCFFA Secretary.) Mr. Berry told me she was quiet when she joined our chapter, I was shocked. There was no way to change from

being the quiet kid, it is impossible. But as the year progressed, however, Mr. Berry kept putting me in situations where I had to speak in front of the class (whether I was presenting or simply answering questions.) By the time we reach our hunter education course later in the year, I would volunteer to answer questions! I was not trying to blend into the background when I was in the agriculture room anymore, I felt comfortable, like I belonged.

It wasn't until my sophomore year that being able to talk in front of people became in handy. Due to the pandemic outbreak, our chapter was unable to hold our banquet and elect a new officer team. So, when school began in August, officer applications went live. Now, I had no intent on submitting an application, but once again, Mr. Berry had other plans. On my way out of class one day he stopped me and said, “Officer Applications are live, and I expect to see your name on one.” I didn’t believe I could do it, but in order to please Mr. Berry, I applied. When it was announced that I was going to be the parliamentarian for the coming year, I was shocked!

There is absolutely no way my interview went well, but I got it. This was a catalyst for me, a sign that I can do it if I try hard enough. So throughout the year, I found opportunities to speak in front of people and ways for me to increase my confidence. It wasn’t until the banquet rolled around and I was elected president that I knew it had worked.

It is my hope that I will be able to encourage the members of our association to find their voice and pursue the life they want. Nothing in life will be given to you, you must work hard to achieve your goals. It is my hope that my story will inspire you to find opportunities to develop your biggest weakness into your biggest strength. I am living proof that the National FFA Organization can/and will give you opportunities to develop premier leadership, personal growth, and career success. It is up to you to work hard and develop your


Region 2 Vice President: Caitlyn Krout

Region 2 Vice President: Caitlyn KroutHometown: Fair Play, SC

Chapter: SC Governors School for Agriculture FFA

SAE: My SAE is Cattle Production. I show a red Limousin heifer named Addy for Lazy C Farms. This fall I have attended seven shows where I feed, water, work, and show Addy. I chose this as my SAE because when I become an Agriculture teacher and Advisor, I want my students to have the same opportunities that I had in high school. 

Education: Senior in high school at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Agriculture

Career Goal: After I graduate from high school, I plan on majoring in Agricultural Communications and minoring in Animal Science at a variety of different colleges. After I receive my Bachelor's degree, I will go back to school to receive my teaching certificate and hopefully start teaching at the high school level. 


I am a senior at the Governor's School for Agriculture. I have been in the FFA for six years now and have competed in many CDE's and LDE's such as; Extemporaneous Public Speaking, Livestock Judging, Horse Evaluation, and have competed at the National Level in Dairy Evaluation.

My favorite memory in the FFA is winning Miss FFA 2022 because it sends a message to all girls in our organization that your commitment to the FFA can be rewarded.

I want my lasting contribution to the SCFFA to be teaching others that “no matter what background you come from you can always succeed if you try your best”.

Region 3 Vice President: Bailee Ferich

Region 3 Vice President: Bailee Ferich

Hometown: Loris, SC 

Chapter: Loris FFA 

SAE: My SAE was in Agriculture Education. In my SAE I traveled to my local elementary school to teach students about the importance of the native wildlife in South Carolina. In my lessons I focused on furbearers and showed fifth grade students pelts and skulls to help them get a better understanding of why it's important to manage wildlife, not only for humans, but for the betterment of nature.

 Education: Freshman at Mt. Olive University majoring in Agricultural Education 

Career Goal: To become an Agricultural Educator and FFA Advisor


My name is Bailee Ferich, and I am originally from the Loris FFA Chapter. I am currently majoring in Agricultural Education with a minor in Environmental Natural Resources at the University of Mount Olive in Mount Olive, North Carolina. My biggest goal in life is to visit all 63 National Parks. In my free time I like to go to the beach and listen to music.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever received came from my Ag Teacher, Clair Hammonds at State Convention when I was running for State Office. On the last day of interviews, she calmed me down by telling me “Once you know you have done everything to the best of your abilities, it is out of your control, and everything will fall into place.” In my year of service, I want to push members across the great state of South Carolina to get out of their comfort zone and to try new things.

Region 4 Vice President: Lauren Knight

Region 4 Vice President: Lauren Knight

Hometown: North, SC

Chapter: Swansea FFA

SAE: Vegetable production - I work on my family’s vegetable farm over the summers primarily, but also in the fall and winter when greens are in. I help plant, harvest, grade, and package the produce! 

Education: Freshman, Agribusiness major at Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences. 

Career Goal: I am unsure what part of the agriculture industry I’d like to work in. Any career that puts me face to face with farmers around South Carolina, in an effort to make the industry more suitable and supportive of them is ideal.


Entering high school, I knew I wanted to be a part of my high school’s FFA because of my older friends. It just so happened that on my first day of freshman year, my first class was Ag Science, and I hoped to make friends with similar interests! Little did I know that FFA was an incredibly large organization that had so much to offer. Starting as a member to moving through the ranks, I looked up to our chapter officers and knew I wanted to be in their shoes one day.

Summer FFA Camp before my sophomore year was the event that sparked my true interest in the organization through meeting other students from across the state. The camp itself and the camp counselors guiding me, opened my eyes to what the FFA was really about. Throughout the next few years, I ran for various chapter offices. I then began to run meetings and attended as many events as possible.

One thing I would tell any FFA member: take every opportunity that comes your way; you have no idea where you’ll end up by simply taking a chance and going out of your comfort zone. You could meet a lifelong friend, a future employer, or a mentor. The possibilities are endless. There is something for everyone in the FFA, whether it be new friends, CDE’s, or endless road trips. Live by the motto, “if it is to be, it is up to me,” and you’ll go so far! 

SC FFA Association
SC FFA Association | P.O. Box 1746, Clemson, SC 29633