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At its core, the mission of FFA is about helping members find their path – in life and in agriculture. We like to say FFA is about how you grow during your time in the blue jacket – and that no matter your background or experiences, there is a place for you. My involvement in FFA and the opportunities I’ve gained as a member have significantly influenced my life and even inspired me to launch my own graphic design company. 

I know at first glance content creation and logo designs might not seem like your typical agricultural job. FFA gives its members the freedom to push the boundaries of what it means to work in the industry and to chart our most genuine course. I’ve learned things I never thought I could do, pushed myself to higher levels and made lifelong friends along the way. 

FFA is a connection for all members to the vast industry of agriculture and the diverse professions stemming from it. We learn about farming and production, but also engineering and mechanics, and in my case, communications and marketing. Students benefit from leadership development through hands-on experiences because FFA empowers and equips us with the skills to become emerging leaders of this ever-changing and growing sector. 

We are at our best when working to improve the industry for the next generation. Together, we are committed to carrying on the traditions of our forebears and charting a bold course for the future. 

This week we will celebrate all that and more at the annual National FFA Convention & Expo in downtown Indianapolis. Ahead of our 95th national gathering, the convention promises to be one of our most exciting yet. But beyond the headlines and hype, the event also serves as an important reminder of the lifelong benefits of FFA membership long after the blue jacket is relegated to memories. 

That’s why for me and my peers, the convention truly is a moment to reflect on what it means to be an FFA member. From student-led educational sessions and keynote speakers to our rodeo, the event seeks to unify our members from the smallest of small towns to the biggest of metropolitan areas. There is a common experience and shared passion in wearing the blue jacket. 

And I know I speak for many others when I say that you leave FFA as a different person. 

The lessons students learn at the national convention are applicable and universal for their entire life. As I prepare for my final convention as a student member, I feel a deep sense of gratitude to the organization and all who I’ve met because I made the simple decision to join. I and my fellow student leaders are also grateful to the Indianapolis community that embraces this massive endeavor each year. Thank you for our annual welcome home. We’re excited for the journey!

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