Over 50,000 guests from around the country are in downtown Indianapolis for the 94th annual National FFA Convention & Expo that is taking place now through Saturday. Blue jackets are swarming the Indiana Convention Center today and many of them say “Indiana” on the back.
Indiana FFA Director Samantha Miller tells HAT that it’s incredibly special for Indiana FFA members to have the national convention right here in our backyard.
“When it comes to attending national convention, if you’re in another state where it requires more money or more time to travel, less people have the opportunity to be able to take advantage of the leadership development opportunities that will be occurring over the next few days here in downtown Indy. Our students can even come down for a day trip and that gives them the opportunity to come down and experience national FFA convention at its fullest.”
Miller adds, “Some of them are even going to be freshmen, or even junior high members, and that’s going to be very special compared to other states. Which means that this is going to be a very energizing experience for them and even a way for them to see all the opportunities that they have to grow into the organization when they’re just starting out in their ag program to see what possibilities are out there for them and to get connected into agriculture, which is incredibly important for their personal growth, but also for the state of Indiana when we need so many people to work in the talent pipeline for agriculture.”
Miller says that for many Indiana FFA members, this might be their first trip out of their rural community to downtown Indianapolis.
“I hope they’re getting the experience to see what else is out there outside of their home communities and everything that Indiana itself has to offer when they come downtown and see the businesses that are here, Corteva, Elanco, and others that are here in their own backyard, that they can stay in the state and continue to work in agriculture.”
Union City native and former Indiana FFA reporter Derick Williams, a freshman at Notre Dame, is competing for one of six spots on the National FFA officer team. He made it past the first round of interviews and is now one of 21 finalists. The national officer team will be announced during the final session on Saturday at noon.