Fresno State alumnus Levy Randolph was honored as national champion of the American Farm Bureau Federation and Young Farmers and Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet at its annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee on Feb. 15.
Randolph earned a $2,500 scholarship as part of the honor. A Fresno State agricultural education graduate this past May, Randolph is currently pursuing his master’s degree at the University of Florida.
The two-day event featured 48 entrants judged on their ability to analyze industry issues and create solutions. The competition encouraged applicants to build basic discussion skills and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems. Randolph qualified for the event after he won a similar state competition in March in Visalia.
“It was an honor to represent the California Farm Bureau Federation and the state,” Randolph said. “It was a close competition, and I was happy to have a chance to compete against a group of innovative thinkers who will be key leaders in the future of the agriculture.”
Randolph is the fifth Fresno State student or graduate to represent California in the national competition.
“I’m so proud of Levy,” said Dr. Steven Rocca, professor of agricultural education and communications, who joined Randolph at the competition. “He did an outstanding job throughout all four rounds of a difficult competition. He faced very talented competitors from across the nation, but his hard work and preparation paid off. It has been a pleasure to work with such a fine young man.”
Randolph served as president of the National FFA Organization, and was a member of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Techology’s Ag Ambassadors program and Kappa Sigma fraternity.
Randolph worked three summers with the FFA Washington D.C. Leadership Conference, and co-hosted stories for the RFD TV national news show about FFA national conventions in Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky. He also appeared on Valley’s Gold on Valley PBS in October 2013.
“I have an unconventional agricultural upbringing.” Randolph said. “I am the only person in my family involved in agriculture, and I’m lucky to have found it. It’s a very rewarding industry, and I enjoy how many quality people there are in the field and how hard they work.”
Randolph’s first agricultural experience came as a freshman FFA member at Hemet High School in 2004. He paid $30 to buy three chickens that he raised and later sold at a fair for $400.
He is also known nationally for his starring role in the “The Perfect Proposal” viral video released online in October. The 7-minute, 42-second viral video detailed his surprise proposal to girlfriend Tiffany Rogers and generated 10 million hits.
The two have now blended their talents into a new video company called H.E.C. Films that celebrates inspiring stories about students, teachers and programs. More information on the project is available at http://www.gofundme.com/m90mu4 .