12 things you need to know about the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo

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With only 253 more days until the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo, it’s never too early to begin planning the biggest week of your students’ FFA year. Here are a few things you need to know to kick-start your planning.

  1. Louisville, Ky., dubbed the city of possibilities, will be the host of the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo Oct. 30 - Nov. 2. “Our city will roll out the red carpet for you and do everything possible to make you feel at home”, said Mayor Gregory Fischer in his welcome letter to FFA Advisors.
  2. FFA will literally take over the entire city of Louisville this fall. Several convention and expo events and activities, including the National FFA Expo and general sessions, will take place in the 1.3-million-square-foot Kentucky Exposition Center (formerly known as the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center). Six hotels will also host events:
    • The Galt House Hotel - nominating committee, Farm Business Management and Marketing Plan CDEs
    • The Marriott Hotel - Agricultural Sales and Prepared Public Speaking CDEs
    • The Hyatt Hotel - Creed Speaking CDE and Star Awards
    • The Seelbach Hilton - National FFA Foundation events
    • The Brown Hotel - Job Interview CDE
    • The Crown Plaza Hotel (formerly known as Executive West) – National Association of Supervisors of Agricultural Education and Agricultural Issues CDE
  3. The KFC YUM! Center will be the site of the convention and expo concert, which will be announced this summer.
  4. For the first time, the Agricultural Communications CDE will take place off site, at the Mid America Science Park in Scottsburg, Ind. Three other CDEs will also take place off site: the Forestry CDE, located in Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest; the Meats Evaluation and Technology CDE, located at the University of Kentucky in Lexington; and the Environmental/Natural Resources CDE, located at Publisher Press in Lebanon Junction, Ky. For a list of all CDE locations, click here.
  5. Only four miles separate the Kentucky Exposition Center and downtown Louisville. For a map of the city and area surrounding the exposition center, click here.
  6. Last year’s National FFA Expo featured 450 exhibitors, a record! With more exhibit space in Louisville, this year’s expo is sure to attract even more expo guests.
  7. From fast food to fine dining, you can find it all in Louisville, named one of the Top 5 “Foodiest” small cities in America by Bon Appétit Magazine. Visit the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website for a rundown of restaurants in the city, including the Louisville Restaurant Guide, which features 2,500 places to eat.
  8. During the convention and expo, FFA will offer more than 25 career success tours that touch at least one of the Eight Career Pathways that help our members focus on an area of interest and increase their expertise. The eight paths are Animal Systems; Agribusiness Systems; Food Products and Processing Systems; Natural Resource Systems; Environmental Service Systems; Power, Structural and Technical Systems; Plant Systems; and Biotechnology Systems. Tours will be announced in August.
  9. Our list of Educational Experiences (formerly known as Educational Tours) continues to grow and will offer something for everyone—from the Frazier History Museum and Muhammad Ali Center to MEGA ZIPS, which takes adventurers underneath the city to zipline a 100-acre cavern. Try an experience during the convention and expo or on your way to and from Louisville. A list of experiences, both in Kentucky and Indiana, will be available in May.
  10. We’re making it easier than ever to get all the convention and expo info you’ll need into one handy resource. In the past, we’ve produced both a guidebook and the Convention and Expo Exhibitor’s Guide. For 2013, both guides will be combined into one, slim-Jim book for easy use and will feature schedules, maps, expo exhibitors, city highlights and more.
  11. Back by popular demand, the convention and expo guidebook app will be available for download in August. Improve your experience by taking the schedule, maps, expo listings and more with you on your phone or mobile device. The app is available for free for iOS, Android, Blackberry and web-enabled devices.
  12. As always, find the latest on the convention and expo on www.FFA.org/convention.