Rayne Thompson, the 17-year-old daughter of Paul and Melissa Thompson of Cottageville, recently accepted a position on the West Virginia FFA (Future Farmers of America) Board for the 2020-2021 school year. Thompson will be a senior at Ripley High School and will hold the title of West Virginia FFA Vice-President at Large.

Her interest in the FFA began when her older sister, Rebecca, was in middle school.

“My whole career in agricultural started when my sister got in the FFA program in seventh grade at Ripley Middle,” Thompson said. “I was able to watch what she did and I thought it was pretty interesting.”

Since Rayne was not old enough at the time to join the FFA, she said she got hooked on 4-H. Her plan was to participate in the program at Ripley Middle when she reached the seventh grade; however, when she was eligible, the school stopped offering the program. Once she became a freshman at Ripley High, the middle school brought the program back.

“So I started my FFA path my freshman year in high school,” she said. “It was great, lots of fun things happened, and I got very involved.”

Thompson was a chapter officer for two years, holding vice-president positions in both her sophomore and junior years at Ripley High. Unfortunately, she did not make the chapter board in her senior year, but was given the opportunity to interview for a state position instead.

Due to COVID-19, the application process was different then previous years; it was all done virtually. Following several interviews, Thompson learned that she had been chosen as the state vice-president at large.

She will hold the responsibility of working with the Southeastern region FFA chapters including Fayette County (Greenbrier East, Greenbrier West); Mercer County; Monroe County; Pocahontas County; Raleigh County (Shady Spring, Surveyor); Summers County; and Tug Valley in Mingo County.

With a state position, she will be in charge of planning state-wide events with the other board members. One of which is the Fall Conference, a large event that may also have a virtual spin on it this year, and several other activities throughout the year.

Thompson said she is “ecstatic” to be on the state board this year and she has so many people to thank for helping her get there, her mom and dad, all of the new chapter board members at Ripley High, and especially her agricultural teacher at Ripley, Craig Canterbury.

“She bleeds blue and gold,” Canterbury said. “She is all about FFA. She’s very passionate about FFA and I think she sees the big picture and wants to help others get to that point.”