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National Convention opens eyes and hearts

By Morgan S.
Georgia, Age 15

On the week of October 19-24, 2009, six FFA members had the chance of a lifetime to travel the miles to Indiana for the 81st FFA National Convention. President Cody S, Vice President Morgan S, Sentinel Tyler S, Reporter Brittany G, Historian Justin T, and member Carlee S arrived in Indiana on October 20 for the three days of non stop action or the taking tours of the Motor Speedway, Toby Keith concert, Bulls and Broncs Rodeo, Career Show, and leadership sessions.
The leadership sessions featured different motivational speakers such as Mike Rowe, the host of Dirty Jobs and Paralympic skier Josh Sundquist.
“The sessions were really inspirational,” said sophomore Brittney G. “They made you rethink your normal way of life,” said G. The sessions gave the audience insight to someone other than their normal way of thinking.
The sea of blue and gold corduroy jackets covered the city from block to block.
“You couldn’t even turn a street corner without bumping into an FFA member from somewhere else. It was amazing to meet people from Washington and North Dakota,” said junior Tyler S. “They have so many different customs that we do in the south.”
The FFA Organization has chapters in every state and province of the United States. All 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands were represented at the convention.
Members also attended the Career Show, a display of different exhibits presented only to registered convention guests. The show had exhibits from the branches of the military to the many different jobs of agriculture.
“There were lots of different booths set up,” said senior Cody S. “It was neat to see how the different careers fit together with FFA.”
Along with career exhibits, there were also colleges from around the United States there to recruit prospective students.
Not only did the convention provide new outlooks on other people across the country, it forced some students to look inwardly and discover new things about themselves while on the trip there.
“I’ve never noticed how much that I miss from day to day life. We all get so caught up in the hustle and bustle, and we forget what we’re missing. Seeing the scenery up there just reminded me I need to slow down and enjoy things while they last,” said freshman Carlee S.
Overall, the convention brought in more than one million dollars to the city much to Mayor’s pleasure.
“We are so delighted to have the largest student organization convention held in our city. Students have a once in a lifetime chance to come to our city for this convention, and we’re so glad you’re all here,”. He addressed the 54,000 FFA members attending the first general session on October 20.