Make Your Instagram “Kernel” Count at the CSX FFA Booth

By Stacey Springob

This year at the expo, CSX is using FFA members’ Instagram photos to raise hunger awareness.  FFA members can post photos of their favorite Louisville memories on Instagram with the hashtag #EveryKernelCounts. Continue reading

Melrose-Mindoro FFA Member Restores a Piece of History

By Cassie Olson

LOUISVILLE – When Riley Hanson decided to restore an Allis Chalmers WD tractor in 2012, he never imagined where the path would lead him.

“I was at the Wisconsin state FFA convention when I first heard of the Delo Tractor Restoration Competition,” Hanson, a four-year Melrose-Mindoro FFA member, said. Continue reading

The Sea of FFA Jackets Take on Louisville

By Cassie Olson

LOUISVILLE — At 7:30 a.m., many of us were just waking up. That is not the case for those attending the 87th National FFA Convention & Expo as a sea of over 60,000 FFA members and guests began to make their way into the Kentucky Exposition Center early Tuesday morning. 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

From 1 Million to 9 Billion: FFA Members are Feeding the World

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By Becca Harrison, National FFA Convention and Expo Newsroom Intern

Daniel Fields spent his senior year with Oklahoma’s Checotah FFA Chapter teaching kids in his community how to grow vegetables in gardens they had planted. They then distributed the produce among people in the community who were unable to plant gardens of their own.

Through the FFA: Food For All Grants program–now entering its third cycle–other FFA chapters around the nation like Fields’ are able to build similar hunger-fighting initiatives within their communities. Continue reading

Case IH FFA Stage Paintings Sell for $1,000 Each

In recognition of the 80-year celebration of the official jacket, Case IH sponsored speed painter Dan Dunn to perform and donate his artwork for FFA monies at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo.

In recognition of the 80-year celebration of the official jacket, Case IH sponsored speed painter Dan Dunn to perform and donate his artwork for FFA monies at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo.

By Caroline Weihl, National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Intern

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The agriculture industry is the foundation of FFA. Many contributors from the industry help increase this success with involvements like sponsorships. One sponsor helped paint a masterpiece for organization scholarships.

Case IH sponsored speed painter Dan Dunn to create canvas paintings commemorating the 80th birthday of the blue corduroy FFA jacket at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Ky.

FFA wanted to share the passion the members have for their official dress. Case IH became involved as a large sponsor already working with Dunn for a new product launch. Continue reading

FFA Exhibitors Offer Tips for Career Success

The Beck's Hybrids display in the National FFA Expo.

The Beck’s Hybrids display in the National FFA Expo.

By Hannah Kleckner, Newsroom and Media Relations Intern

When it comes to career success, making yourself stand out from the rest of the crowd may not be as difficult as you may think. Adam Schmitt and Kelsey Shaw of Beck’s Hybrids Seed share some helpful tips to help you put on your best foot forward and chart your way to a successful future.

“Just as there are many different kinds of music, there are many different areas within agriculture,” says Shaw, an Education Intern for Beck’s from Madison, Ind. “Each sector of Ag is different, but they all have a common purpose.”

Regardless of whether you are interested in creating new breeds of seeds or educating a new generation of agriculturalists, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when looking for and applying to a job. Continue reading

Dierks Bentley Performs for Sold-Out FFA Crowd

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By Abbey Nickel, newsroom and media relations intern

The words “Ignite FFA” have been falling on the eager ears of thousands of FFA members this week. On Wednesday night they were able to experience the theme from a slightly different perspective in the KFC Yum! Center as country singer Dierks Bentley ignited the sold-out crowd of 16,000 cheering FFA members through a packed set list of number one hits.

While he doesn’t have any direct ties to FFA, Bentley stated that he has witnessed the organization’s impact on today’s youth.

Continue reading