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President Trump’s visit to Indy will bring extra security, road closures

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Preparations are underway ahead of President Donald Trump’s Saturday visit to Indianapolis.

The president will serve as the keynote speaker at the 91st annual FFA Convention and Expo Saturday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The National FFA Organization is historically known as the Future Farmers of America, but according to the group’s website, the name was updated in 1988 to to “reflect the growing diversity and new opportunities in the industry of agriculture.”

The Secret Service started scoping out the area around Bankers Life last weekend.

Expect to see beefed-up security around Indianapolis as 67,000 FFA members from all over the country take over downtown Indianapolis for the convention.

“It’s been a tradition of FFA to invite the president of the United States to speak to us every year,” said Mark Poeschl, CEO of the National FFA.

“We’ve done it since the Eisenhower administration, and once in a while they accept the invitation, but it’s been since 1991, the first President Bush, that we had a president at our convention.” 

Trump will be the sixth sitting president to speak in person at the convention.

“We talk a lot about how our population is growing and agriculture is what’s going to take us to the next step as our country grows and it’s really important that the president supports us and supports us as FFA members,” said New Mexico FFA member Kassie Glover. “Because we are the future of this organization. We are the future of agriculture, and it’s important that he supports us in what we do.” 

“We’re expecting to hear how he can keep agriculture sustainable to keep people like me on my family farm,” said New Mexico FFA member Leah Starbuck.

“I think he’ll talk about some of the great stories of the FFA, some of the accomplishments of our members. I think he’ll talk about the next generation of leaders in agriculture,” said Poeschl. “I think he’ll be very complimentary as he has been of our organization and what we’re doing.” 

Along with beefed-up security, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will be shutting down Delaware and Pennsylvania streets between Maryland and South streets ahead of Trump’s visit. The closures were planned to last from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

As the city prepares for a presidential visit, the FFA hopes his message will resonate with the future of agriculture. 

“Hopefully, we’ll have a student in the audience to be motivated and inspired to do things greater than they thought they could,” said Poeschl. “We might have a future president in the audience.”

The convention is a private event and is a closed function, so the public will not be allowed inside the stadium Saturday afternoon. 

News 8 will have crews at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the president’s speech and reaction.