April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Hope FFA members attend national convention

By From Annie Ashbrook and Haley Embry-

A group of 12 Hope FFA members were selected to attend the 88th National FFA Convention.

The group left the school on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 28 and headed south. They started the morning off sweet by stopping at Schimpf's Confectionary, the oldest candy factory in Indiana, in Jeffersonville. Students had the chance to watch candy being made by the owners, and look through the museum. Once entering Kentucky, the group was given the opportunity to stop at the Farm Credit Mid-America corporate office to take a tour and learn about the opportunities at the company. After a wonderful tour, the group was given the opportunity to sit down with company employees and speak directly with them. From there, students were ready to head to the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center for the convention itself.

One of the most memorable things at the National FFA Convention is the opening session. 60,000 students pack into Freedom Hall which is filled to the brim with anticipation and excitement to kick off the event. Light shows, music, and keynote speakers inspire students to make the most of their time at convention thus amplifying their membership in FFA. After the session, the group had the chance to see Jake Owen with Maddie & Tae in concert, in great floor seats, and even a few Hope members getting the opportunity to meet Mr. Owen.

On the second day of convention, Hoppe FFA members hit the town of Louisville and began their day of tours at the Louisville Slugger Museum. The group learned about the history of bat-making in Kentucky and were able to see the bat factory machines hard at work. Exploring downtown Louisville, the group found a local Italian eatery to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the downtown area. With just enough time, we headed to the convention shopping center in an effort to leave no booth uncovered. Hope FFA ended the second full day by attending an exciting rodeo. The World's Toughest Rodeo showcased athletes who rode bronc horses, bare back horses, bulls, which was lots of entertainment.

With sleepy eyes, the group got an early start on the final day. In an effort to awaken the beasts, we headed to an inspirational keynote speech from Amberly Snider. Amberly Snider was the Utah State FFA president and a well accomplished rodeo cowgirl. At the age of 18, she was involved in an auto accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. After listening to her inspiring words of strength, we realized that nothing is impossible. Her speech was a highlight for many members of our group.

The group headed toward the Career Expo to explore universities and career options. Many schools, employers, and organizations have booths where FFA members can learn about each one individually.

The National FFA Convention always provides students with inspiration and education to carry home and share with their school, chapter, and community. FFA promotes premier leadership, personal growth, and career success, and with over 60,000 students in attendance of the 88th annual convention, we see a future for students in agriculture!

Amplifying from the flag, your Hope FFA co-reporters,

Annie Ashbrook and Haley Embry[[In-content Ad]]