Most youth who attend the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., will not end up on the main stage receiving recognition for their hard work.
With 850,823 student members nationwide, the competition is fierce. Only a very small percentage of the 69,596 youth who attended the 2022 event received top honors.
Participating in National FFA Convention is still something that FFA members want to do even if they don't receive honors, said Ms. Layne Rada, Minnesota FFA Association interim executive director.
“Those who aren’t competing actually get to experience all the parts of the convention,” she said.
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They attend the five general sessions held in the Indiana Convention Center, they hear and see motivational speakers, and they listen to the retiring addresses of the national FFA officers.
Many FFA chapters will tour farms and ag businesses they might not see in Minnesota. These include honeybee apiaries, shrimp farms, cranberry harvests, large and small dairy farms, and more.
“They get to see those career tours along the way, and it really opens their eyes to agriculture beyond their home county,” she said.
The National FFA Convention also has a Career and College Fair that is filled with hundreds of colleges and businesses that want to recruit FFA members.
“The exposure to all the opportunities in agriculture is really what most students take away from the convention,” she said. “At state and national events, FFA members realize they are part of something that is so much bigger.”