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National FFA Convention & Expo to bring 70,000 people to downtown Indianapolis

FFA Convention kicks off downtown

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Blue and gold jackets are set to take over downtown Indianapolis starting Wednesday as the National FFA Organization returns to the Indiana Convention Center.

This year marks the 96th National FFA Convention and Expo. Officials expect more than 70,000 students, teachers, and other guests to attend.

The agriculture education group hosted its national convention in Indianapolis from 2006 to 2012. After a few years in Louisville, the convention has been in the Circle City since 2016.

Convention Director Mandy Hazlett says students will have a week full of different experiences and meeting new people.

“They get chances to also learn from each other in student workshops. They can go on career success tours, see a little bit behind the scenes of different Ag businesses,” Hazlett said. Then, of course, give back to the community of Indianapolis through our service projects.”

Anna Silkman is an FFA student from Connecticut. She’s been to multiple national conventions and says it’s always an impactful time.

“I’ve learned countless skills that are going to help me in my future career,” she said. “I’m going to be an Ag teacher — hopefully — when I’m older. Those skills about teamwork and communication I’ve built over five years now, it’s going to take me so much farther in my career.”

In total, FFA has 9,163 local chapters throughout the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 945,000 student members.

Another student, Jorge Rivera, from Puerto Rico says he looks forward to the week ahead. “I’m very excited about meeting new friends and seeing some from the past,” Rivera said. “I’m really excited (about) learning about how can we improve our organization for the better of everyone and how can we keep giving more opportunities to every single student.”

The convention officially started at noon on Wednesday

Thursday and Friday mark the FFA’s National Days of Service. The thousands of attendees will be in the community and giving back by volunteering at about 20 different locations throughout Indianapolis. 

The event concludes on Saturday.