The 91st National FFA Convention & Expo concluded Oct. 27 with the announcement that the organization set an attendance record of 69,944 for the 2018 event. Throughout the week students, advisors, and guests had many opportunities to experience new and exciting updates in the agriculture industry. The National FFA Convention & Expo is a time-honored tradition, where innovators and leaders of tomorrow come together, and was held in Indianapolis. FFA members and guests from across the U.S., representing all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, attended the event.
Events took place at several venues in downtown Indianapolis and other surrounding areas. FFA members and advisors met in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where eight of the nine general sessions were held. At the Indiana Convention Center, members explored the expo or expanded their minds by attending a variety of workshops or participating in educational and career success tours.
The convention and expo kicked off with the FFA band leading a grand march down Georgia Street in downtown Indianapolis on Oct. 24. The march ended at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and ushered in the start of the opening session. That evening, Garth Brooks, the reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, took the stage for a private show for convention attendees. Students and guest alike where in awe of the passion and excitement Garth Brooks brought to to the stage, especially after he was awarded the lifetime alumni membership into the National FFA organization.
Throughout the event, John Deere commemorated 75 years of partnership at the convention as well. On Thursday evening, the Star Award winners were named. On the morning of Oct. 27, the eighth general session was held in Lucas Oil Stadium where American FFA Degrees, the highest degree for an FFA member, was bestowed upon more than 4,200 FFA members. The event concluded with the ninth general session in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where President Donald J. Trump addressed the convention attendees, followed by the election of the 2018-19 National FFA Officer Team.
Throughout the week, convention and expo attendees experienced the inaugural Blue Room, a 17,000-square-foot interactive area that showcases the cutting-edge technology, research, and innovation taking place in agriculture. Through experiential learning and a specific focus on the most critical challenges facing our communities — from respecting the planet to feeding the world — The Blue Room inspired and equipped students to activate their potential. AgriNovus Indiana and Microsoft were the title sponsors of this experience.
The National FFA Convention & Expo is scheduled to be held in Indianapolis through 2024. Next year’s convention will be held Oct. 30- Nov. 2.