Every year, the National FFA Convention & Expo brings people together from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. There are a lot of people who have been to the convention before, but it’s truly a unique experience for FFA members who are first-timers to the sea of blue.
Being a first-time attendee can be nerve-wracking, but overall, it will be one of the best weeks of your life. I remember my first time visiting Indianapolis as an FFA member. I was nervous but also excited. Seeing blue corduroy everywhere really opened my eyes to just how many people also love this organization. One of my core memories was sitting down and watching the opening ceremony with the national officers — something I’ll never forget.
The convention is an experience like no other: You get to experience being inside an NFL stadium, the FFA shopping mall, completing workshops, spending time with your teammates, and so much more.
Even for convention veterans, there’s always something new, exciting, and worth looking forward to at the event.
To get a better idea of what it’s like to be a first-time attendee, I spoke with four first-timers in Indianapolis this week about their experience leading up to and at the National FFA Convention.
The first two individuals I spoke with were Barb Minchin and Sebastian Mendoza from the Phillipsburg chapter in New Jersey. Minchin and Mendoza had a twelve-hour drive to the Convention.
Both students looked forward to meeting new people and seeing the beautiful city of Indianapolis, Indiana. Their teammates and advisors who had previously been to Nationals had told them about the “Sea of Blue,” referring to all the FFA jackets that fill the streets.
Indianapolis is a new place that neither of the FFA members had visited, and that’s one of the highlights of the convention for many — It’s always exciting to explore new places.
Minchin and Mendoza are both second-year members of the FFA and were also looking forward to bonding with other members of their chapter. Both of the students attended a workshop called “Know Your Worth” while being here and told me that it was eye-opening and enjoyable.
The next two first-timers I spoke with were Zadie Broome and Macie Reagan Habersham from the Habersham Central FFA chapter in Georgia. These attendees had a ten-hour drive to Indianapolis.
Much like Minchin and Mendoza, both of these members were looking forward to meeting new people and participating in the unique experiences that the National FFA convention provides. One of these new experiences was being inside Lucas Oil Stadium and getting to experience the sessions at the national event.
» See all of our National FFA coverage here.
Claire Howe is a senior at Bassett High School in Virginia and serves as a chapter reporter for Bassett FFA.