For the first time this year, FFA members who completed and demonstrated excellence in their agriscience fair research project and SAEs were given the opportunity to step onto the center stage for the new Student Showcase. During the 95th National FFA Convention & Expo, these students received five minutes to present their information to a live audience.
The nine sessions also provided a spotlight for Living to Serve projects, Hall of State exhibits, Career Development Event demonstrations, live performances, and more.
Participants in the Student Showcase answer questions posed by a panel of industry leaders and business professionals. The event highlights a broad range of project areas and interests while providing an opportunity for FFA members from diverse backgrounds to share their passions and interests.
“For many, this a brand-new experience,” says Ashli Weinrich, who serves as one of the Student Showcase directors. “We have members from lots of different states and agriculture looks very different to all of them. This allows them to get outside of their bubbles and sparks new ways of thinking.”
“A lot of kids might not be able to do what we just did, so it’s cool to be able to experience something like this before we’re in college,” says Aledo FFA Chapter member Samantha Sullivan of Aledo, Texas. “Not many people can say they’ve spoken on a national stage, but now we can,” added her teammate Rebecca Sullivan.
The ultimate goal of the Student Showcase is to highlight a broad range of interest areas and spotlight members from diverse backgrounds and experience levels. For members like Nathan Hammerschmitt le Gul from the Essex FFA Chapter in Hawthorne, Mass., this opportunity also serves a greater purpose.
“Overall, this is a passion project,” says Hammerschmitt le Gul. “I would encourage interested members to get involved in their communities and seek out help from others. By doing this, a project could become something larger than you ever think it could be.”
Members who completed agriscience projects also had time during the trade show to present their projects to individuals. Everything from livestock projects to biodiesel, bacon, and horticulture are represented on science boards lining the Science Fair.
Everything about the 95th Annual FFA Convention seemed to embody that Agricultural Education is For All. From the keynote speakers to the entertainers, from the dance floor to the Student Showcase, the t-shirts and even time-honored traditions this year seemed to take on a feeling of unity.