One can’t help but be inspired by the quality and the hard work of the young people clad in those distinctive jackets who, for a few short days are turning Louisville a bluer hue.
This week’s National FFA Convention will once again transform the city of Louisville into a sea of corduroy as big numbers are expected for the event. The city is prepared for more than 60,000 students, advisors and other visitors for the 2014 National FFA Convention and expects an estimated economic impact of $40 million, with visitors in 136 hotels for a combined 39,247 nights within a 60-mile radius of Louisville. Those sound like some big numbers, but they are well founded based upon past conventions and the steady membership increases in FFA around the country. This last year saw an explosion in FFA membership throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. As of this fall, membership in FFA stands at 610,240 students up from 579,678 in 2013. Membership increased by more than 30,500 during the 2013-14 school year. The number of new, local FFA chapters throughout the country grew to 7,665.
“FFA, through agricultural education, is preparing our youth to ensure the security of our country’s food, fiber and natural resources for years to come,” said Dwight Armstrong, National FFA Organization CEO. “Through real-world experiences, the nation’s agriculture teachers are helping students develop the technical knowledge, skills and problem-solving capabilities to be the industry’s leaders of tomorrow. FFA members will be tomorrow’s advocates for agriculture.”
The Texas FFA Association added more members than any other state, with 8,364 members. Total FFA membership in the Lone Star state stands at 103,379 with 1,021 chapters. California, with 76,470 members, is the country’s second-largest FFA association, followed by Georgia with 37,698 members, Missouri with 25,935 members and Oklahoma with 25,561 members.
The stronger-than-ever National FFA has the city of Louisville looking forward to what could be a stronger-than-ever National FFA convention. Stay tuned for Ohio FFA results from the event.