Engaged sponsors support future of ag through national convention and expo

With the 85th National FFA Convention & Expo quickly approaching, more than 50,000 blue jackets will be taking Indianapolis by storm. The national staff here at FFA has been working hard to make sure that FFA members, guests, advisors, sponsors and donors will have the ultimate convention and expo experience.

Sponsors, some of the biggest companies in agriculture, will be taking part in the nation’s largest youth convention and expo in a variety of ways, supporting the future of the industry. Work begins long before the convention and expo begins. We ask how the sponsor would like to be engaged at the event or if they would like to be a volunteer. In-depth agendas are then created, with non-stop action. Several sponsors start their agendas with judging a combination of proficiency awards, Star awards and CDEs. Some sponsors volunteer to help with National Days of Service or lead a leadership workshop. Sponsors do not send just one person; rather, they send an entire army of employees who divide and conquer.

Some of these employees are old pros at the convention and expo while some are new to the game. For those new to convention, they can get a crash course and learn about the organization at the FFA Experience, Thursday, Oct. 25. The FFA Experience showcases an FFA advisor and FFA members who speak about their FFA experiences, while covering the three parts of agricultural education: classroom/laboratory, FFA and supervised agriculture experiences. This one-and-a-half-hour session helps our sponsors and donors understand what FFA is all about.

Sponsors and donors not only learn about FFA, they also get to interact with the members. The expo floor and Collegiate and Alumni Career Fair are great for seeing members at work. More than 400 sponsors and guests will be displaying booths, handing out “freebies” and encouraging students to think about their companies and organizations as a future career.

“There are a number of diverse companies representing the eight Career Pathways in Agricultural Education. They all engage and excite our members about what bright futures and careers lie ahead,” says senior exhibit manager Brian Kelley.

Occurring during the expo is the Collegiate and Alumni Career Fair. The career fair will allow collegiate and alumni members the chance to apply and inquire about internships and careers.

To thank them for their support, National FFA Foundation hosts a Sponsors and Donors Reception and Dinner. Open to all sponsors, donors, past national officers and other supporters, the dinner allows companies and individuals to mingle and network. From the dinner they go to the Third General Session, where they are recognized onstage for their support of the organization.

Whether they are recognized onstage, judging a proficiency award or passing out goodies at their expo booth, our sponsors will be around the convention and expo to see firsthand the impact their sponsorship makes. Be sure to stop by and thank them for their support. Have a great time at the convention and expo!