Indianapolis News

National FFA Convention kicks off Wednesday

INDIANAPOLIS — There will be a lot more blue and gold in Indianapolis this week than you might expect. And that’s not only for Pacers fans. National FFA 95th Convention & Expo will be back in Indy on Oct. 26-29.

. “We’re returning to what we love,” Mandy Hazlett (associate director, convention and events at National FFA Organization) said. The convention is in full swing this year, despite the fact that we had to make some changes last year. The convention is now in full swing.

If you are a downtown Indianapolis resident or business owner, then it may mean that you have to temporarily give up eating lunch while watching out for FFA members. FFA stands for Future Farmers of America. “That was a stigma we had,” Hazlett admitted. “When we changed our name several years ago, it was to really incorporate the meaning that National FFA is really a place for everybody, for hundreds of different careers in agriculture.”

She explained that can be anything from biotechnology to communications to event planning.

“We have over 300 exhibitors that are going to be with us this year. Those are companies that are wanting to get in front of our students and show them all the different careers that are available in agriculture.”

Hazlett says organizers do hear stories from students who have “aha moments” at the convention when realizing opportunities are open to them they had not previously considered.

Students will also participate in service projects, something that not being completely in-person prevented. This year, students will construct 1,200 travel book pillows to go to hospitals and schools utilizing new or gently used donated children’s books.

The sessions will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium, while the Wednesday and Thursday night concerts will be at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Hazlett says she expects to see more than 60,000 people attend this year’s convention.