This year’s 95th National FFA Convention & Expo was one for the record books, drawing more than 69,000 attendees to Central Indiana for what is truly a life-changing moment for so many of our students.
As we reflect on an amazing week, the National FFA is deeply grateful to our corporate partners, individual donors, and Indianapolis leaders and volunteers who are instrumental in delivering this experience to our members. For many students, the convention is their first time traveling independently. Once they arrive, they immerse themselves in the latest farming technologies and trends, network with students from across the country, and have the opportunity to prove their skills in national-level competitions.
Whether it’s the energy of being part of one of our 25,000+ attendee sessions at Lucas Oil Stadium or listening to the speakers on our first-ever Student Showcase Stage, the excitement and passion for the future of our industry isn’t just to be seen, it’s to be heard sense. I speak for myself and other National FFA employees when I say that the convention is a place where we find hope and a renewed belief that we are developing the next generation of leaders who will change the world.
The convention offers students the opportunity to feel part of something bigger. It challenges them to return home and to advance as leaders in their schools and their communities. That empowerment, that sense of “I can be more,” is what we hope to convey to everyone who attends our largest gathering of the year.
All of this and more is made possible by the generous support we receive. Each year as I reflect on the convention, I think of how great it is to showcase the best that Indiana has to offer. As a native Hoosier (and volunteer boilermaker), I love seeing the state at its best. And I have a feeling our attendees will never forget Hoosier’s hospitality.
One of the moments I really enjoy at any convention is the welcome dinner, where we gather student delegates, state and local politicians, public safety officials, corporate partners and the hospitality industry to say thank you. We could not run the convention without the help and kindness of the larger Indianapolis community. And during this lunch, our community partners interact with students who directly benefit from their work.
We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped the FFA national team to take good care of the students entrusted to us during the congress.
You are part of the development of the potential of our members. They are a part of their significant moment in life.
As the saying goes: When one convention ends, the next one is already in the works. (Or at least that’s what we say at the National FFA office.) Work is already underway today to refine and enhance our program to reflect the ever-changing agricultural industry, so the convention can continue to play its primary role in developing our talent pipeline.
We can’t wait to welcome our members back home to Indianapolis.
Your influence on all who support us in this endeavor is limitless and we appreciate you.
Scott Stump is Chief Executive Officer of the National FFA Organization and the National FFA Foundation.