Next week over 65,000 FFA members will arrive in Indiana for their national convention, and the City of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana are ready to roll out the blue carpet to welcome back the FFA. The official welcome came on Thursday during special ceremonies on the canal in downtown Indianapolis. The program featured city, state, and agricultural leaders as well as plenty of blue jackets.
National FFA president David Townsend says the theme of this year’s convention stresses achievement and community service, “The theme this year is ‘I Can. We Will.’ Individually, we have our skills and abilities we have been gifted with; but, when we join together, we are able to make an even bigger impact.” Not only will the FFA members make an impact on the city with their service projects, but Townsend says those who attend convention will take that spirit and attitude back to their local chapters and communities.
National FFA CEO Mark Peschi said, not only does FFA develop leaders and impact communities, it also develops agricultural advocates, “As people become generations removed from the farm, they don’t understand that food and agriculture are tied together. So our students play an important role, not only in producing and marketing healthy and abundant food products, but also in telling the story of agriculture through advocacy efforts.”
Indiana’s Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch said the careers in agriculture, both on the production and technical side that FFA fosters, are the key to the future of Indiana agriculture, “Indiana farmers not only have to know how to farm, but they must be businessmen and know technology.” She added that an emphasis on agriculture and technology is the future of Indiana and that that FFA members will play a vital role in that future.
Indianapolis, which will host the convention through 2024, is literally turning the city blue. On Thursday, the canal that runs through the heart of downtown, was dyed blue in honor of FFA.
Listen for HAT coverage of the FFA convention next week.