The 91st National FFA Convention and Expo will conclude Saturday with President Trump addressing members and guests at the final general session. It’s been a great convention so far, and an exciting addition to the convention was the Blue Room presented by AgriNovus Indiana. AgriNovus President and CEO Beth Bechdol told HAT that the idea originated on the back of a cocktail napkin before AgriNovus even existed.
“The idea sort of struck a small number of us of, ‘Why aren’t we doing more at convention to really showcase modern 21st century tech, cutting edge innovation in food and agriculture,” and we sketched out a Blue Room 4 years ago. And now here we are and it’s real. It’s 17,000 square feet of space inside the Indianapolis Convention Center that I think is going to just be incredibly inspiring to all of these kids.”
And what is Bechdol’s hope for the Blue Room?
“I want to demonstrate to every person who comes into this room and make the assertion, agriculture is cool. Agriculture is tech intensive. Agriculture is modern. Agriculture is innovative.”
Innovative agtech companies like Corteva, Elanco, and FMC had demonstration areas set up around the outside of the room to show off their technology. There was also a “College Corner” and “Startup Street” that helped show young people how to be an entrepreneur.
“That was a really important part of this room. To make sure that students saw that innovation and technology is happening in big companies, in small companies, in an entrepreneur’s mind. It’s happening in colleges and universities.
Bechdol took me on a personal tour of the Blue Room after it opened on Wednesday. You can see the video of our tour above.