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FFA convention ends long run in Kentucky
By DAVE BLOWER JR.
Farm World Editor

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The National FFA Convention wraps up a seven-year run at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center this week.

The convention will move about 110 miles north to Indianapolis beginning in 2006. Officials from the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Assoc. will attend this year’s event in Louisville to prepare visitors who have questions about the move.

FFA officials expect more than 50,000 members from across all 50 states to attend this year’s convention. The theme for the 2005 event is taken from the FFA motto Living To Serve.

“This year’s theme highlights the ideals FFA has represented for more than 75 years,” said National FFA Advisor Dr. Larry D. Case in a press release. “With the support of caring and committed agriculture teachers, our student members are actively encouraged to give back to others through servant leadership - not just as students, but throughout their adult lives.”

Award presentations, special guests and motivational speakers will fill the Freedom Hall stage schedule.

Among the special events will be an anniversary commemoration of the New Farmers of America (NFA). The NFA was established in 1935 to serve African-American agriculture students who lived in states that were segregated by law. Like the FFA, the NFA was created to develop students’ skills in public speaking, career development and leadership.

The NFA and the FFA merged in 1965. So, this year’s convention will mark both the 70th anniversary of the NFA and the 40th anniversary of its merger with the FFA. Past NFA officers will be recognized and a video presentation about the youth organization will be played on Oct. 27. The NFA will have a display at the career show, too.

For those unable to attend the convention, RFD-TV will webcast all 10 sessions. However, Internet visitors may want to secure their spot quickly. RFD-TV reports that, due to bandwidth limitations, it will only be able to service about 10,000 webcast visitors.

For a broadcast schedule and more details, visit www.rfdtv.com

As it has in the past, the National FFA Alumni Assoc. will give away several items to raise money for its scholarship program. A $1 donation to the scholarship program will enter convention visitors in a drawing that includes prizes such as a zero-turning radius Club Cadet riding mower or an Apple iPod player. A random drawing will take place Friday during the FFA Alumni’s annual live benefit auction. Among the top items at the auction will be a tractor and a round baler donated by New Holland.

College FFA students who are looking at the next step in their careers will find useful information at the Collegiate Career Expo. The Expo provides students with information about full-time and part-time internships and positions.

More than 500 college students attended last year’s Expo. FFA officials are expecting more to take part this year. The Expo is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

FFA has 476,732 student members preparing for leadership and careers in science, business and technology of agriculture with 7,223 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

For convention details, visit www.ffa.org/convention

Published in the October 26, 2005 issue of Farm World.

10/26/2005