INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, June 26, 2020/National FFA Organization) – The National FFA Organization announced today that the 2020 National FFA Convention & Expo will be held virtually. The organization also extended its contract with the host city of Indianapolis from 2031 to 2033.
“We wanted to ensure that our members and guests had the full convention experience. After a discussion with the National FFA Board of Directors, the decision was made to move forward with a virtual experience for 2020,” said Mark Poeschl, CEO of National FFA. “As we continued to plan for our national convention, it became clear that travel restrictions and public health concerns, among many other pandemic-related challenges, made hosting our in-person event impossible in 2020.”
The decision to hold a virtual event in place of in-person was recommended by National FFA staff and affirmed by the board of directors.
“The safety of our members and stakeholders is always top of mind,” said Dr. James Woodard, the organization’s national advisor and chair of the board of directors. “While the event might look a little different this year, rest assured that we will continue to be celebrating agriculture’s future leaders and conducting the organization’s official business.”
This year’s event will still be hosted by the 2019-20 National FFA Officer Team and continue the tradition of celebrating and inspiring the hundreds of thousands of FFA members who are becoming the next generation of leaders.
“While convention will look a little different this year than what we are used to, FFA members around the country have proven their willingness the past few months to not only adapt but create meaningful experiences while celebrating FFA and agricultural education,“ said Kolesen McCoy, 2019-20 National FFA president. “Our officer team is humbled to share this fantastic experience with more members than ever before.”
National FFA looks forward to returning to Indianapolis with an in-person convention in 2021 as part of its long-term hosting partnership that will now run through 2033. The organization and the governing board of the board of directors also decided to extend the city of Indianapolis’ contract for two more years.
“We are grateful to our hosts and partners in Indianapolis and the state of Indiana for their support while making this difficult decision regarding an in-person event,” Poeschl said. “We plan to return to Indianapolis in 2021 as we continue our long-term relationship with the city. FFA as an organization is also committed to making a difference in the city this fall through contributions and service activities that support the people, places and organizations that have always offered their well-known brand of Hoosier Hospitality to our guests. We are pleased to extend our contract with this city that our FFA members and supporters have come to know and love.”
The year’s convention will allow FFA members, advisors, alumni, supporters, sponsors and exhibitors to connect more than ever before through online events, activities and competitions. The convention will occur virtually during the week of Oct. 28, as previously planned.
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to more than 700,000 student members who belong to one of the more than 8,600 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by more than 8 million alumni and supporters throughout the U.S.