The 91st National FFA Convention & Expo concluded on Saturday, Oct. 27 with the announcement that the organization set an attendance record of 69,944 for the 2018 event. The National FFA Convention & Expo is a time-honored tradition, where innovators and leaders of tomorrow come together, and was held in Indianapolis Oct. 24-27, 2018.
FFA members and guests from across the U.S., representing all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, attended the event.
Events took place at several venues in downtown Indianapolis and other surrounding areas. FFA members and advisors met in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where eight of the nine general sessions will be held. At the Indiana Convention Center, members explored the expo or expanded their minds by attending a variety of workshops or participating in educational and career success tours.
This year, the theme of the convention and expo was Just One.
The convention and expo kicked off with the FFA band leading a grand march down Georgia Street in downtown Indianapolis on Wed., Oct. 24. The march ended at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and ushered in the start of the opening session. That evening, Garth Brooks, the reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, took the stage for a private show for convention attendees.
Throughout the event, John Deere commemorated 75 years of partnership at the convention as well. On Thursday evening, the Star Award winners were named. Austin Stanton of Centralia, Mo., was named Star Farmer; Benjamin Curtin of Illinois was named the Star in Agribusiness; Colin Wegner of Wells, Minn., was named Star in Agricultural Placement and Eric Koehlmoos of Iowa was named Star in Agriscience. Other FFA members were honored throughout the week for various awards. More on those individuals can be found here. On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 27, the eighth general session was held in Lucas Oil Stadium where American FFA Degrees, the highest degree for an FFA member, was bestowed upon more than 4,200 FFA members. The event concluded with the ninth general session in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where President Donald J. Trump addressed the convention attendees, followed by the election of the 2018-19 National FFA Officer team.
Throughout the week, convention and expo attendees experienced the inaugural Blue Room, a 17,000-square-foot interactive area that showcases the cutting-edge technology, research, and innovation taking place in agriculture. Through experiential learning and a specific focus on the most critical challenges facing our communities—from respecting the planet to feeding the world—The Blue Room inspired and equipped students to activate their potential. AgriNovus Indiana and Microsoft were the title sponsors of this experience.
In addition to attending various events, FFA members also offered a helping hand to the greater Indianapolis area as part of the National Days of Service. Places where students gave back to the community include Gleaners Food Bank, Maplelawn Farmstead, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Indianapolis City Market, St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry and more.
The National FFA Convention & Expo is scheduled to be held in Indianapolis through 2024. Next year’s convention will be held Oct. 30- Nov. 2.
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 669,989 student members who belong to one of 8,630 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 459,514 alumni members in 2,236 alumni chapters throughout the U.S.
In other National FFA news, AgriNovus President and CEO Beth Bechdol was appointed to the FFA Sponsors’ Board.
Source: National FFA Organization