With National FFA Convention in sight, we have the countdown marked on our calendars and crossing off the days till we get to travel to Indianapolis. With a little over a week left, you will soon meet new friends from across the country, reconnect with old friends, and make memories that will carry on the rest of your life. As excitement fills the air, so does hard work. There is a lot to prepare and plan for the largest membership convention for any organization in the United States.
With over 65,000 students registered for National FFA Convention, it takes a lot to help and organization for everything to run smoothly. Every event and competition takes attention to detail, volunteers, and a plan to be successful. Many of those volunteers are the state FFA officers.
During the national convention, state officers are representing their members by being delegates and voting on important issues. Audrey Martin, member of the Missouri Officer team said, “At national convention I will serve as a voting delegate for various issues. In preparation for that role I have been informed of Missouri FFA member’s stance on the issues, to properly represent them as a delegate. Knowing how our members want to be represented at national convention allows us to give them a voice and ensure that FFA is centered around the members’ needs and ideas.”
In addition to being a delegate, state officers are also on other committees. From helping as a judges to reaching out to alumni, the state officers have been preparing for National Convention for a long time.
Paxton Dahmer, Missouri’s FFA President, said “I will be participating in the National FFA Livestock Evaluation Career Development Event (CDE), as well as serving as a voting delegate and discussion leader for the National FFA Delegate Process. I have been practicing for the livestock contest, as well as working with other state officers from across the nation to develop plans for the delegate process.”
In addition to serving as a Livestock Evaluation CDE, Dahmer is also a member of the committee for the Implementation of Technology and Social Media into FFA Programs. Dahmer said, “We are evaluating current career and leadership development events and working to implement new technology in them to bring them up to date. We understand that technology is the future, and we are actively searching for new ways to implement technology in FFA.”
Not only is there a lot that goes into prepping for national convention, but also into growing FFA. Madelyn Derks, state officer from Missouri, looks at every aspect of convention. Derks said, “I am on the Committee for the Assessment of Inclusivity and access within Leadership Development Events (LDE), CDE’s, and FFA Programs. This committee will look into the growth of diversity for FFA members in these events.”
National FFA Convention could also not be possible without help and support from alumni. Andi Montgomery, who is on the committee for The Improvement & Relevancy of National FFA Alumni & Supporters and a Missouri Officer, said, “This committee will evaluate the engagement and interest of high school students, former FFA members, and stakeholders.” It takes every member, current and past, to make a successful convention.
Each one of the state officers looks forward to national convention for many reasons. Audrey Martin looks forward to the National Days of Service. Martin said, “I love getting to live out the fourth line of our motto which is “Living to Serve.” There is no feeling like the one you get when you’ve completed a task that is purely for others. I am so appreciative to National FFA for allowing the State FFA Officers to participate in National Days of Service, to do our part in making a positive difference in the lives of others.”
Dahmer said, “I am definitely looking forward to seeing old friends from across the nation, as well as meeting new people. I am a firm believer that networks developed while in FFA will pay large dividends in the future. I am fascinated with the opportunities that FFA provides to develop friendships and professional relationships with other FFA members from across the nation.”
As National Convention draws near, we get to see all the hard work come together. There are so many pieces to the puzzle to create a smooth-running convention. Many volunteers and a dedicated hard-working team have made all of this possible. We can’t wait to see all the hard work pay off in little over a week!