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4-H and FFA CEOs join in celebration of Topsfield Fair’s 200th year

DANVERS, Mass., September 20, 2018 – The national CEOs of 4-H and the National FFA Organization (formerly Future Farmers of America) will join in the opening ceremonies of the 200th annual Topsfield Fair, courtesy of HighQuest Group, an agricultural consulting, events and media firm located here.

Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO of National 4-H Council, based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and Mark Poeschl, CEO of the National FFA from Indianapolis, Indiana, will be on-hand during the opening ceremonies on Friday evening, Sept. 28, and the parade the following morning as guests of HighQuest Group.

The Topsfield Fair, the oldest in the nation begun with the formation of the Essex Agricultural Society in 1818, runs from Friday, Sept. 28 through Monday, Oct. 8, this year. Featured events include a national 4-H science challenge called “Code Your World”, a special anniversary luncheon including several children representing FFA and 4-H, and the crowd-pleasing annual attractions such as the New England Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off, the Monster Truck Freestyle and Demo Derby, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride. This year’s musical talent includes the Charlie Daniels Band, Sara Evans, and Martina McBride.

“It is a great honor to be a part of this 200th anniversary, and continue in our efforts to support U.S. and local agriculture and young professionals in the sector,” said HighQuest CEO Greg Mellinger. “For years we have partnered with FFA for our Women in Agribusiness Summit to open the door to a new learning experience and provide access to some of the chief decision-makers along the agricultural supply chain.”

Greg Mellinger, along with Susan Mellinger, administrator of HighQuest’s national Ag Clubs, will stand with local dignitaries and state representatives during the opening of the fair on Sept. 28. They also will participate in the parade on the morning of Sept. 29.

About HighQuest Group HighQuest Group, previously located in Topsfield from 2000 to 2010, serves companies, asset managers, investors, associations and governments across the global food and agribusiness value chains. Its seasoned consultants have completed over 400 advisory engagements, and its event division hosts preeminent investment, supply chain, and diversity conferences such as the Global AgInvesting and AgTech Nexus series, the Organic & Non-GMO Forum, and the Women in Agribusiness Summit. HighQuest publishes newsletters, quarterly journals, and reports about aginvesting, agtech investing, agribusiness, and women in ag.

About National FFA Organization

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 669,989 student members as part of 8,630 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is supported by 344,239 alumni members in 2,051 local FFA Alumni chapters throughout the U.S. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at and on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.

About 4-H

4-H is America’s largest youth development organization growing young people with essential life skills in every county in the United States. It is delivered by Cooperative Extension – a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn-by-doing. Kids complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture, and civic engagement in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles.


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