As the 90th annual National FFA convention starts to wind down, we reached out to several FFA members to see what their favorite part of #ICanWeWillFFA was this week.
“I am loving Convention so far. This is my second year coming and this year has been just an amazing experience to come and relax and not compete,” said Mazee Casto, Chapman FFA, Kansas. “I’ve been more focused on going to all the colleges, all the booths, and really getting to know other chapters and other states.”
While this is Peyton Horn’s third time attending the National FFA Convention, he wanted to make sure he got to experience both Louisville and Indy.
“This is just a great opportunity that not a lot of people get, especially in high school, so I’m just really grateful that I had the opportunity to come and go around to the different colleges and see what I want to do in the future,” Horn said.
It was Justin Parisot’s first time attending and the Illinois native and Hiawatha FFA member thought it was amazing.
“All the virtual reality things you get to see, you get to actually experience all the equipment firsthand instead of going and buying it and realizing you are not going to like it, all the different events here are really cool, there’s a bunch of free stuff, you get to learn about a lot of different colleges and life experiences, how to work welders, how to work heavy equipment,” Parisot said. “I just think it is a really awesome experience to come here and check this stuff out.”
Also a first-timer and hailing from Hiawatha FFA, Ryan Lauritzen echoes Parisot’s comments. “It is a great way to get your name out there, meet new people, experience new things and experience agriculture and spread our word about FFA,” Lauritzen said.
Riley Alexander, Bourbon County FFA, Kentucky, was just getting to the Expo floor Friday morning after the officer team had been taking several tours around the Indianapolis area. While this is Alexander’s third year at Nationals, he was looking forward to joining the rest of his chapter.
“We are hoping that when they get up here, we can get closer as a chapter and bond more, and try to make sure the people that it is their first national convention it is more enjoyable for them and want to come back next year,” Alexander said.
Stacey Ketchie, West Rowan FFA, North Carolina was also just getting around to the Expo after competing in the two-day Meats Evaluation and Technology event.
“It’s been very busy, but it’s been good though. We got to meet a lot of new people,” Ketchie said. “We met some new people from Colorado that we got to talk to on the daily. It’s cool to meet all these people from all over the country.”
While it was her second time attending the National FFA Convention, Carley Burleyson, also from West Rowan FFA, said this year seemed different.
“I feel like there was more opportunities, more people, and more booths to look at,” Burleyson said. “Last year there was mostly just colleges and this year there was a bunch of things to participate in.”
Both are surprised the week went by so quickly.
“It flew by really fast and I definitively got to meet a lot of new people,” Burleyson said. “Standing in line anywhere I would start conversations, so I did get to meet a lot of new people and I also got to see a bunch of things I’ve never been exposed to before.”