Park FFA attends the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo

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Park FFA attends the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo

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Twelve Park FFA members attended the 2019 National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana with their advisor Shane Stender the week of Oct. 29. The chapter spent six days traveling, touring and experiencing the convention. As the week progressed, members participated in a workshop hoping to learn about how farmers and ranchers are going to feed the world by 2050.

“ The best memory about this trip is having the opportunity to participate with my students in a national community service day,” said advisor Shane Stender after helping students paint rooms in a community center in Indianapolis.

Stender said his favorite part about the National Convention trip would be giving students the opportunity to experience FFA on a national level and provide them with experiences outside of Livingston, Montana. For some Park FFA members, the trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Many members expressed that they are surprised at how many members are in the FFA organization and the amount of members that attend the convention. According to counts during sessions at the convention, about 70,000 members and guests are hosted during the week.

Senior member Joleen Frost is a two-time attendee of the national convention. “The second time attending was a different experience than the first. I spent more time outside of my comfort zone by meeting new people,” she said. Her experience at the convention has given her a new outlook and ideas to bring back to her chapter. “We all have a story and we shouldn’t assume anything about anyone before we meet them,” states Frost after hearing an inspirational speech at a general session during the convention.

Frost hopes that bringing back her stories and the lessons she learned at convention will encourage members to continue to work hard to meet the requirements for the trip in future years. Her time at the convention has allowed her to bond with her fellow members and meet other passionate FFA members.

The national convention is an extremely large scale of what the Park FFA members see at their state convention. Nik Pierson participated in the experience for the first time, and he said he enjoyed the keynote speakers the most, with Bob Goff being his favorite. “ The most important thing I am taking from this trip is that there is power in availability. Don’t be the victim,” Pierson said after attending a session.

For the Park FFA chapter, attending the national convention is a big honor that only the officer team, the most active members or any qualifying teams get to attend. The requirements for this trip push members to work their hardest and participate in all community service and fundraising activities. The older members that attend cannot wait to encourage their fellow members to work towards attending in future years.