This year, more than 67,000 FFA members, supporters and guests attended the 90th National FFA Convention & Expo, held in the Circle City Oct. 25-28, 2017.
Convention and expo events took place at several venues in downtown Indianapolis and surrounding areas. FFA members and advisors met in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where eight of the nine general sessions were held. At the Indiana Convention Center, members explored the expo or expanded their minds by attending a variety of workshops or participating in education and career success tours.
The national convention and expo had an estimated $40 million impact on the city. Attendees stayed in more than 120 hotels throughout the Indianapolis area.
The convention and expo began with the National FFA Band leading a grand march down Georgia Street in downtown Indianapolis on Wed., Oct. 25. The march ended at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and ushered in the start of the opening session. On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 28, the eighth general session was held in Lucas Oil Stadium where American FFA Degrees, the highest degree for an FFA member, were bestowed upon more than 4,000 members. The 2017-18 National FFA Officer team was elected on Saturday as well.
Breanna Holbert, an agricultural education major at California State University of Chico, was elected national president. Holbert is the first female African American elected to the office of president. Erica Baier, an agricultural education major at Iowa State University, was elected national secretary.
Piper Merritt, an agricultural economics major at Oklahoma State University, was elected central region vice president. Bryce Cluff, an agricultural technology and management: education major at the University of Arizona, will serve as western region vice president.
Ian Bennett, majoring in agriscience and environmental systems – plant breeding and genetics at the University of Georgia, was elected southern region vice president. Gracie Furnish, a career and technical education major at the University of Kentucky, will serve as eastern region vice president.
Throughout the week, convention and expo attendees lent a helping hand to the greater Indianapolis area as part of the National Days of Service. More than 1,900 FFA members provided 5,760 hours of service at 15 host sites. The estimated economic impact for the three days was $139,406.
The National FFA Convention & Expo is scheduled to be held in Indianapolis through 2024.