The 91st National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis this week has a handful of main ingredients that make it tick, all revolving around people and their commitment to the organization. FFA staff, volunteers, city and state officials, FFA students and sponsors all make the annual event the success that it is. And of course, there is an Indiana farmer touch to the event, starting with Tuesday’s kickoff luncheon.
“We proudly support the luncheon that kicks off the convention. We think it’s really important to help get the kids energized and ready for a good week,” Kelly Whiteman Snipes of Rochester told HAT. She is a director on the Indiana Corn Marketing Council Board.
Indiana’s corn and soybean farmers support ag education, and FFA is one of those opportunities.
“We do a lot with educational materials and joined forces with Indiana Soybean with the Glass Barn at the state fair, and we have a presence at various events just to make sure that the youth in Indiana are getting a little taste in agriculture. As farmers we rely very heavily on technology and we want the best and the brightest working for the future of the industry. FFA is a great opportunity for us to help surface that talent.”
A commitment to finding and cultivating young talent to lead agriculture’s future is a common theme among the many sponsors of FFA, both at the local and national level. One of those young talented FFA members, Claire Baney, former Indiana state president, has made the finals cut and now hopes to hear her name announced Saturday afternoon when the next national officer team is introduced.
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