SC FFA Association Officers

Gracie Helms

Gracie Helms

State President

Gracie is a member of the Central FFA Chapter.

Gracie has one sister, Mallory. Her favorite food is homemade cubed steak with rice and gravy. When not involved in FFA activities, she loves to have lunch with her friends, hike at nearby trails, and go to the movies. She also has a few pen pals in South Carolina, and would love to write you personally or your chapter as a whole.  If she could choose to be one animal, she would be an eagle because to her it represents inspiration, longevity, and a breaking of boundaries.

Gracie's SAE is diversified livestock, and she has a placement SAE and an entrepreneurship SAE. This means that she was placed with an employer to grow her agricultural skills, and she ran her own business. For her placement SAE, she worked for Howle Farms and Aw’Shucks Farms. She worked with swine, poultry, rabbits, sheep, goats, and horses. Her entrepreneurship SAE was her personal egg enterprise at Helms Farms, where eggs were sold locally from their flock of more than 50 laying hens.

She says that she has had many memorable FFA activities from late night bus rides with Greenhand Officers to receiving her first state award; but the moment she became president everything stopped, and her mind was quiet. She knew it had all worked out and the late nights, stressful studying and hot workdays were what made her into the officer she is.

Gracie feels that her advisor, Jessica Howle, has taught her countless lessons throughout their years together. However, the most valuable of these lessons is that she can do anything she puts her mind to and truly wants, and if she stumbles on the way to her goals, Ms. Howle would be right there to pull her back up and help her get back on track.

Gracie will be attending the University of South Carolina Lancaster in the this fall to earn an Associate’s Degree and plans to transfer to Clemson University to earn a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership (major) and minoring in Agriculture Education or History. She wishes to work in education, starting out as an Agriculture teacher or a history teacher, but her overall goal is to work her way up to becoming the U.S. Secretary of Education. She realizes it is a long shot, but thinks if she works toward her goals and, having God behind her, all things are possible.

Adisyn Lyles

Adisyn Lyles

State Vice President

Adisyn is a member of the West Oak FFA Chapter.

She is an only child. Her favorite type of food is Mexican food.

Her favorite activities to do outside of the FFA are showing cows and spending time with family and friends. If she could be one animal, she would choose to be a raccoon because she feels that they are so unique.

Adisyn’s SAE is Veterinary Science. She worked under the direction of Dr. Andy Holland at Oconee Vet Clinic.

Adisyn’s most memorable FFA activity was participating her chapter's fundraiser. A cow was donated to the chapter, and tickets were sold for a drawing that was held at a home football game. She sold the most tickets and really enjoyed this activity because it greatly helped her chapter.

The most valuable lesson she has learned from her advisor, Sara Pollard, was to be a leader in the agriculture industry and feels that Ms. Pollard helped give her the confidence she needed to succeed. She learned to be a leader and to accept challenges.

Her future plans are to attend to attend Tri-County Technical College to earning a degree in Veterinary Technology and then transfer to Clemson to major in Agribusiness and minor in Forestry. Adisyn aspires to become pharmaceutical representative to vet clinics while raising beef cattle.

Region 1 Vice President Ashlyn Patterson

Ashlyn Patterson

State Vice President

Ashlyn is a member of the Seneca FFA Chapter.

She has one younger sister, Kaitlyn. Her favorite food is chicken and dumplings or hibachi food.

Her favorite activities to do outside of the FFA are fishing, painting and drawing, thrift shopping and spending time with family and friends. If she could choose to be one animal, she would be a white tiger. She feels that tigers are majestic, beautiful, and strong. She sees them as overcomers, especially the white tigers due to the circumstances they face daily to their species, much like we face in our lives.

Ashlyn’s SAE was an internship in Animal and Veterinary Sciences at Magley Animal Hospital, where she learned about customer service, Animal and Veterinary Science, basic biology and lab procedure. Along with this, she did Diversified Livestock Production with her chickens and ducks, building a coop and raising them from eggs. Her most favorite FFA memory would be teaching hundreds of elementary students through her chapter's AG Days at the Fair event. This event, hosted by Seneca FFA, and assisted by West-Oak FFA, consisted of two days of presentations on hands-on learning scenarios that aims to teach younger generations the importance of agriculture, along with the fun that can come with it.

The most valuable lesson she learned from her advisor, Christina Addis, was to believe in yourself even when you're in doubt. She feels that one of the most important things that Mrs. Addis taught her is that no matter what, push on, believe in herself, and know what she's capable of and always made it clear that we are all capable of reaching the stars, even when we feel we can’t.

Ashlyn's plans to attend Clemson University and earn a BS in Animal and Veterinary Sciences. She aspires to be a livestock veterinarian or to have a job somewhere with livestock and livestock production.

Region 2 Vice President Gunnar Black

Gunnar Black

State Secretary

Gunnar is a member of the York FFA Chapter.

He has three siblings, Jules and Sasha Black and Jase Williams. His favorite food is steak.  Gunnar’s favorite activities outside of the FFA are playing sports, mainly football and basketball, hunting and fishing. He became certified scuba diver in the sixth grade and loves playing trivia games. If he could choose to be an animal, he would like to be a tiger. GO CLEMSON!!

Gunnar’s SAE was working at a Comer Equipment Kubota dealership, where he learned the maintenance and assembly of tractors.  His most memorable FFA activity has been the South Carolina Commissioner School of Agriculture held at Clemson University because that was where he made the decision to run for state office.

The most valuable lesson Gunnar has learned from his advisor, Josh Williams, is to always be prepared and have a plan!

Gunnar’s future plans is to attend Clemson University, majoring in Agricultural Mechanization & Business. He aspires to be a geologist.


Region 4 Vice President Lee Padgett

Lee Padgett

State Vice President

Lee is a member of the Pelion FFA Chapter.

He has one sibling, Cameron Ramsey. Lee’s favorite food is fried pork chops. His favorite activities outside the FFA are hunting, fishing and participating in antique tractor pulls with his John Deere and Massey Harris tractors. He also likes antiques in general. If he could choose to be one animal, he would be a pig because he feels that they are one of the smartest animals and are very social.

Lee’s SAE encompasses a wide variety of fields. Most of his time is spent on their 700 acre row crop farm where they grow corn, cotton, soybeans, oats, rye and wheat. Lee assists in the planting, maintenance and harvesting of these crops. Along with this, he would also use pest control methods such as herbicides and insecticides to keep the crops healthy. He also spent time on their poultry farm where they contract and grow chickens for “Best Dressed Chicken”. Some of his duties on the poultry farm included daily mortality checks, general house maintenance and disinfection. Lee spent some of his funds earned from his SAE to invest in a small hog farm where he raised Duroc and Yorkshire hogs for market sale.

His most memorable FFA activity was traveling to Oklahoma City for the National Land, Range and Homesite judging competition. That was also his first time flying which was an experience all to itself.

Lee had the pleasure of having two great advisors, Mr. Frank Stover and Mrs. Jesse Zeaser. He feels that they both taught him great lessons. Mr. Stover always tried to instill accountability into all of his officers, as well as their hearts as servants. Mrs. Zeaser always pushed him out of his comfort zone, and then a little farther. She never said it, but Lee believes that her mentality was “If you are’t a little uncomfortable, then you're not doing anything that really matters.” He feels that both Mr. Stover and Mrs. Zeaser taught him lessons of true selflessness and service that give him determination and the drive to be the best he could.

His future plans is to attend Clemson University, majoring in Agricultural Mechanization & Business. After college, Lee plans to return to the family farm full time. He hopes that the practices and techniques he learns at Clemson will come in handy on the farm.


Victoria Gillis

State Vice President

Victoria is a member of the Lexington Technology Center FFA Chapter.

She has a sister, Emmy and a brother, Zack. She has a dog named Oakley and two horses, Whisky and Sandman. Her favorite foods are Italian and Mexican. Victoria's favorite activities outside the FFA are riding horses, participating in rodeos, spending time with family and friends, fishing, and just being outdoors. Her favorite type of music is country music. Her favorite farm animal is a horse. If see could travel anywhere, she would love to visit the Western states of Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakotas, as well as Alaska.

Victoria’s SAEs were Equine, Agriscience Research, Veterinary Science, and Agricultural Sales and Service. Her most memorable FFA activity was attending and competing at the FFA Nationals. She said, "It was such a fun trip! I was able to see a lot of new things and places and meet a lot of new people from all over. I was also able to present my Ag Science with my friend Hailey, and it was just a lot of fun and an amazing learning experience."

The most valuable lessons that she learned from her FFA Advisors, Robert Bollier and Scott Tager is to be confident, believe in yourself and not to let fear and worries keep you from trying new things and taking advantage of new opportunities.

Victoria's future plans is to attend her second year at Erskine College, participating on the rodeo team. Her goal is to attend veterinary school and become a practicing large animal vet and owning a large animal veterinary clinic.

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