On the Eve of Convention- CEO Mark Poeschl Shares Vision of Growth for National FFA OrganizationTue, 23 Oct 2018 15:14:42 CDT
The city of Indianapolis will transform this week into a sea of blue jackets as the National FFA Convention & Expo kicks off for the ninety-first time. This time-honored tradition, where innovators and leaders of tomorrow come together in the Circle City will last between Oct. 24-27, 2018.
A record of more than 65,000 FFA members and guests from across the U.S., representing all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are expected to attend the event.
Convention and expo events will take place at several venues in downtown Indianapolis and other surrounding areas. FFA members and advisors will meet in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where eight of the nine general sessions will be held. At the Indiana Convention Center, members can explore the expo or expand 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 is Just One, and the national officer team is excited to share this with all of those in attendance.
"FFA members know that every life moment, milestone and journey starts with just one - just one step, just one conversation, just one action. Together, we can make an impact on our chapters, our communities, our future," 2017-18 National FFA President Breanna Holbert, a student at California State University, Chico, said. "The convention and expo is an opportunity for members to come together and learn from one another."
It's estimated that the national convention and expo will have a $40 million impact on the city. Attendees will stay in 115 hotels throughout the Indianapolis area.
The convention and expo will kick off with the FFA band leading a grand march down Georgia Street in downtown Indianapolis on Wed., Oct. 24. The march will end at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and usher in the start of the opening session. That evening, Garth Brooks, the reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, will take the stage for a private show for convention attendees. John Deere will also commemorate 75 years of partnership at the convention as well. On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 27, the eighth general session will be held in Lucas Oil Stadium where American FFA Degrees, the highest degree for an FFA member, will be bestowed upon more than 4,000 FFA members.
Throughout the week, convention and expo attendees will also be able to experience 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 will inspire and equip students to activate their potential. AgriNovus Indiana and Microsoft are the title sponsors of this experience.
"The Blue Room is FFA's opportunity to present innovation and technology in agriculture to young people from all around the country," said Mark Poeschl, Chief Executive Officer of the National FFA Organization and the National FFA Foundation in an interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays. "We feel there is a real need to do that because not all of our students from every part of the country can see the intricacies that precision ag, robotics, genomics, all the scientific technology engineering kinds of things that are involved in modern agricultural production. So, the Blue Room will be an experience that students can have and learn about many of those concepts."
Poeschl says approximately 4,000 student-members are expected to go through the Blue Room this week, after which students and ag teachers across the country will be given digital access to experience the Blue Room's content from the classroom.
With a few years at the helm of the National FFA Organization under his belt, Poeschl has continued to shape his vision for the ag-youth organization. He says it is one that is built on a solid foundation of inclusion and equity and sees ample opportunity for the continued growth of the organization as well.
"We still have room to grow and students to reach," he said. "And we look forward to doing that by really encouraging them to think about where we're taken this organization into the future."
Listen to Poeschl's complete conversation with Hays, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
In addition to attending various events, FFA members will also be lending a helping hand to the greater Indianapolis area as part of the National Days of Service. Places where students will be giving 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.
One again, we are taking pictures in and around the 2018 National FFA Convention- click or tap here to check out the National Convention Album on FLICKR. By the way- we continue a tradition as several state officers of the Oklahoma FFA will be taking pictures for us during the course of the meeting.
Our exclusive coverage of the 2018 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis October 24-27 is a service of ITC Great Plains, Your Energy Superhighway- learn more about this high voltage, transmission only utility and their commitment to the communities they serve which is the cornerstone of their business - Click or tap here for their webpage. We also appreciate the support of the Oklahoma FFA Association and the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Association. Click or tap here for more information about one of the top states in the US in the FFA- the Oklahoma FFA Association. FFA is a student organization for high school-aged students interested in agriculture and leadership. Oklahoma FFA impacts the lives of over 27,000 members in 359 chapters across the state.
Source - National FFA Organization
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