Suppose you are attending this year’s National FFA Convention & Expo. In that case, you have most likely participated in your state’s convention, and I am going to help you compare the two events so that you’ll be well prepared for what you’ll encounter in Indianapolis with more than 65,000 fellow FFA members in attendance.
If you have attended your state’s conference and loved it, prepare for the time of your life at the National FFA Convention! From the exhilarating sessions inside the Lucas Oil Stadium to the college and career expo and shopping opportunities, the scope and scale of the national convention is one you won’t forget.
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Here are a few “must-do’s” while you attend the conference:
- One, you have got to find an “Indy” sign to pose with for the perfect Instagram headline.
- Two, you have to attend as many conference sessions as possible to embrace the FFA environment fully.
- Three (and this one’s my favorite), bring your spending money and those listening ears for the career fair and shopping expo.
You never know; this year may be your last opportunity to attend the National FFA Convention & Expo, so why not embrace it fully? Take advantage of every opportunity given to you so you can obtain the entire experience. There are so many different events and activities in Indianapolis, so if you find yourself sitting around bored, take a closer look at the convention schedule because these are opportunities you want to take advantage of.
For those members who are nearing the end of their FFA career, the networking opportunities present this year are like none other. You can not only meet with the colleges at the career fair, but you can also meet with industry professionals (on hand are companies such as Syngenta, Protect the Harvest, Merck Animal Health, Beck’s Hybrids, and Microsoft, to name a few) and National FFA corporate sponsors who can help guide you to find your future career. (You can see the exhibitor map here.)
For those with a few years left in membership, the networking capabilities for FFA members are like no other conference. With over tens of thousands of FFA members across the organization converging in one place, you will meet at least one person to connect with from a different state.
So, to go back to the topic of how can my experience with my state conference help me at the National FFA Convention. Think of what you did at your state convention, multiply it by 20, and you are ready for the best experience.
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you will have a great time. Don’t feel overwhelmed by the masses of blue corduroy jackets and the production of the sessions and other events. Embrace every moment with an open mind and watch as the 96th National FFA Convention & Expo helps propel you toward a brighter future in the world of agriculture.
Patrick Palmer is a senior and president of the Clovis FFA Chapter in California, as well as serving as president of the San Joaquin Region, leading over 26,000 Central Valley FFA members to success.
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Author: Ryan Tipps