The best of National FFA Convention

With just three weeks from the National FFA Convention, this time of the year always left me with excitement and anticipation.

From the tours to the food, and the excitement your members have the first time they complete at the national level, the first time they eat at a fancy restaurant, the first time they leave the state…National FFA Convention was always my favorite FFA event of the year and helped jumpstart me to finish the first semester strong!

Even going back to my years in the blue jacket, the National FFA Convention gave me a sense of purpose and importance that no other FFA event could match.

So here are a few of my favorite tours, food destinations and moments from my 15 years of attending the National FFA Convention…

TOURS…tours can be hit or miss. As an advisor, I was always apprehensive of tours because they either are really good or leave your students with more than to desire. Here are a few of the tours I really enjoyed:

  1. Fair Oaks Dairy Farm

  2. Indianapolis Speedway

  3. Chicago Board of Trade

FOOD…obviously food is what most of my students got excited about! My last eight years of teaching, I taught at Houston High School in Ohio where there are no stop lights, gas stations, restaurants or grocery stores in the district…unless you count Dollar General. So my students were always excited but apprehensive about what was in store because it was not Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans. These are a few of my favorites for food options:

  1. Hollyhock Hill

  2. Bucca di Beppo

  3. Condado (minus the 10 minute walk in the pouring rain wearing trash bags from DG to save the OD)

MOMENTS…the tours, food and concerts are fun but the moments seeing students get the most out of FFA is by far my favorite part of the National FFA Convention. Here are some of my favorite moments as an FFA advisor at convention:

  1. Models of Excellence finalist in 2016…this was my third year teaching (and second at Houston) and although I had a lot to learn, this was a pivotal moment for my students and new chapter because it showed my students they could make a huge impact and led to being a Models of Innovation finalist and Models of Excellence finalist in the coming years.

  2. American FFA Degree recipients…I love seeing graduates all grown up and putting their FFA jackets on for the final time!

  3. National finalists post interviews/presentations…I was fortunate enough to have 10 national proficiency finalists, two CDE teams compete at National FFA Convention and three Models of Excellence or Innovation finalists during the eight years I taught at Houston, but my favorite part of this experience was talking to students after they came out of the interview/presentation room. They are so excited, relieved, empowered, and I was always so proud of them for the countless hours they put into the preparation, no matter how they actually did.

I hope you all can enjoy the National FFA Convention in a few short weeks and I hope you take the time from the “busyness” to enjoy these special moments with your students.

Stop by Booth 110 in the expo to visit The Owl’s Nest and see how we can help you be successful in and out of the classroom as an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor!