By Destiny Mudge, Perryville FFA Reporter
“We come from greatness, we are FFA members. We are agriculturists, we are FFA members. We are the future, we are FFA members.” These words were spoken by National FFA President Cole Baelocher during the second session of the National FFA Convention and it struck a chord with each one of the 65,000 FFA members that were in attendance.
Each year, the National FFA Organization celebrates the accomplishments and achievements of FFA members and chapters across the country. The National FFA Convention allows members to hear from keynote speakers, mingle with FFA chapters from every state in the United States of America, and learn more about agriculture in a massive expo.
This year was the 95th National FFA Convention, held in Indianapolis. Nineteen members of the Perryville FFA chapter were able to attend and obtain leadership skills by listening to National FFA officers, four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catching, the interim National FFA Advisor & Board Chair Cheryl Zimmerman, keynote speaker Coty Back, Secretary of Education Amy Loyd, and the mayor of Indianapolis Joe Hogsett. Our members were left truly inspired and gained new information and skills that will help us improve our FFA chapter and community.
Not only did our FFA members learn how to become better leaders, but we were also able to explore Indianapolis and learn more about future careers in agriculture. The first day the chapter arrived in Indianapolis, we were able to experience a concert put on by Lauren Alena and Jimmie Allen in the Gainbridge Fieldhouse. After attending the first session, we went to the Expo and Career Show being held at the Indiana Convention Center. The members walked around and met different businesses and colleges, and learned new things about agriculture. The Perryville FFA Chapter visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where we heard information about the different cars in the exhibit, along with being able to see all the helmets worn by different racers. When heading back to Perryville, the chapter stopped at the Beasley Orchard in Danville, Ind. There we went on a hayride, then picked a pumpkin and a couple of apples from their trees. FFA members learned how they grow apple trees and how they are planting a new variety of apple trees to increase their yields. There were activities and products the members were able to visit and buy.
The National Convention was a rewarding experience that Perryville FFA members who attend are sure to never forget. The knowledge and skills we learned at convention will help Perryville FFA Chapter to continue to grow and advance in the coming years.