Free Download: 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo Ignite Theme Song

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If you either attended the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo or watched it on TV/online, you probably found yourself humming a familiar “Oh, ohohoh!” in the days that followed thanks to the official theme song of the 86th National FFA Convention.

Now, you can download that song and share it with everyone. Use it in your FFA chapter, at a conference, at a convention or at home!


(Right click and use “Save target as” or “Save link as”)

Or, if you just want to stream the song on your computer, watch this YouTube video: Continue reading

FFA Alumni Awards Three Outstanding Achievement Awards at 86th National FFA Convention & Expo


Three individuals who have dedicated years to increasing awareness and support of agricultural education and FFA while building FFA alumni programs at local, state and national levels were honored at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo.

The National FFA Alumni Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award honors individuals each year who work to promote, serve and support agricultural education and FFA. Recipients volunteer their time and talents to encourage people at the local, state and national levels to get involved with FFA alumni efforts and activities.

Jim East of Georgia, Sherry Kiel of Michigan and James Grasee of Wisconsin were this year’s award winners. Continue reading

Virgin Islands FFA Members Attend National FFA Convention & Expo

FFA members from the Virgin Islands attend the National FFA Convention & Expo for the first time in 15 years.

FFA members from the Virgin Islands attend the National FFA Convention & Expo for the first time in 15 years.

By Lauren Schwab, National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Reporter

For the first time in 15 years, FFA members from the U.S. Virgin Islands showed their blue jackets at the National FFA Convention & Expo.

Dr. Eddie Williams, Virgin Islands FFA advisor, organized the trip to Louisville, Ky., for 40 students and 10 adults.

“The Virgin Islands FFA was strong at one time. We have not been able to be strong participants because for our students to travel, they have to fly,” Williams said. “We have not been able to attend national convention because we have not had the finances to do so.” Continue reading

Katie Pratt Tells FFA Members to Lead in Agricultural Advocacy

Katie Pratt

By Caroline Weihl, National FA Convention & Expo Newsroom Reporter

“Be the spark” were the words left lingering in the minds of the audience members. This challenge was placed upon them by a fellow FFA alumna and agriculture advocate. It is up to them to share their stories, just as she shared hers.

American farmer Katie Pratt dared the FFA members at the third general session of the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo to be on the cutting edge of food and agriculture dialogues because of their advantage in education and experience.

“I think FFA members have a real unique opportunity to share what they learn in the classroom setting with their community,” Pratt said. “FFA members are going to be on the forefront of communicating with their peers about what agriculture is.” Continue reading

Former FFA Sponsors’ Board Chairs Reunite, Reconnect in Louisville

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Members of the National FFA Foundation Sponsors’ Board meet at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville.

By Abbey Nickel, National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Reporter

The Firestone Farm Tires company is known as ‘the leader in the field’ – but what some may not know is that they have also led the way into making the National FFA Foundation a success.

Ken Allen, current president of Firestone Farm Tires, is far from being a stranger in the world of agriculture. However, Allen is also becoming a familiar face within the National FFA Foundation as he also serves as the 2013 National FFA Foundation’s Sponsors’ Board chair.

Firestone Farm Tires is recognized as the primary driving force behind the establishment of the National FFA Foundation.

“Because of Firestone’s history with the foundation, we’ve been able to make a significant difference in the lives of our future leaders,” Allen said. Continue reading

FFA Members Get ‘Tagged to Teach Ag’ During Convention Workshop


By Hannah Kleckner, National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Intern

FFA members are fortunate to take part in the many exciting opportunities provided through the National FFA Organization. But what happens after graduation and the time in the blue jacket has come to an end? Does the end of a student FFA career have to mean the end of inspiring others to be passionate about agriculture?

National Teach Ag Campaign Coordinator Ellen Thompson says otherwise.

During her workshop “Get Tagged to Teach Ag” conducted at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo, Thompson and several other high school agricultural educators showed students how to take their passion for agriculture to the next level. Continue reading

Panelists Offer Career Tips at National FFA Convention & Expo

career fair

A FFA member meets with an exhibitor in the Collegiate and Alumni Career Fair.

By Hannah Kleckner, National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Reporter

When it comes to applying for a job, many college students have a lot of unanswered questions. How do you organize your resume? Is coursework relevant? What if an interviewer asks if I have other interviews lined up? Industry experts answered these questions and many others during the Collegiate Success Panel and Luncheon on Nov. 1 at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo.

Led by representative Ashley Collins, a panel of four leading corporate recruiters including; Stacey Johnson of John Deere, Tom Bradford of CPS Crop Production Services and Stacy O’Diam representing the Farm Credit Services of America discussed how to navigate the tricky roads toward landing a job. Continue reading

Past National Officers Rekindle Friendship, Passion for FFA at Convention

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By Abbey Nickel, National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Reporter

Richard Waybright may be the oldest living past national officer to serve for the National FFA Organization, but he still talks about it like it was yesterday.

Waybright served as the eastern region vice president in 1949. He’s had coffee with Eleanor Roosevelt, and he’s traveled to 41 countries in his lifetime.  It’s not a stretch to say that Waybright has been around the world ― but to this day, he still credits FFA for the opportunities he’s had.

“Being a national officer really opened the door for me.  I’ve had a lifelong commitment to agriculture, and it started right here,” he said. Continue reading

New Competition Showcases FFA Members’ Talent

2013 National FFA Talent winner Bailey Wesberry performs on stage at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo.

2013 National FFA Talent winner Bailey Wesberry performs on stage at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo.

By Caroline Weihl, National Convention & Expo Newsroom Reporter

FFA members are talented. The organization seeks to spotlight the many ways the students are gifted through presentations and sessions. This year, students who chose to express their talents had a new challenge. They had to compete.

This friendly competition sought to name the most talented participant in the contest. On Friday night, Bailey Wesberry was named the winner of the first National FFA Talent Competition at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo in the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.

Wesberry is a member of the Waurika FFA Chapter in Terral, Okla. and presented beautiful vocal performances to earn first place. She was excited to be named the first official National FFA Talent winner. The other two finalists were Britton Pankratz from Mountain Lake FFA Chapter in Minnesota with a yoyo talent, and vocal duet EMazing Grace, with members Grace Kensigner and Emily Stolzsus from the Manheim FFA Chapter in Pennsylvania.

The competition began with state associations submitting applications and audition CDs to national FFA months in advance. After a review of the basic requirements, the applicants were notified of advancement and were invited to participate in the new competition. Continue reading

Educators Engage in Development Workshops at FFA Convention

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By Kelly Fager, National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Reporter

Advancing the future of agricultural education is important and who better to take up the cause than agriculture educators, who are always looking for ways to impact their FFA members.

One such successful method is inquiry learning, which teaches FFA members critical thinking, problem solving, communication and cooperative collaboration. Agriculture educators attending the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo this October learned how to weave inquiry learning into their classrooms during interactive professional development workshops. Topics ranged from agriscience to leadership and gave teachers the opportunity to discover new ideas and activities, receive free instructional materials and learn strategies to increase student engagement. Continue reading