The FFA National Convention and Expo is a major, four-day event in Indianapolis, IN, where agriculture teachers take students every two years.

The event, scheduled for Nov. 1-4 this year, is a leadership conference designed for FFA students to find inspiration and learn how to grow as an influential leader in their communities.

Thanks to the FFA Boosters and a firework stand fundraiser, the funds garnered throughout the year make it possible for each student to be able to travel round-trip for close to nothing. A total of 14 Firebaugh High School students will be attending this eight-day trip, with two adults supervising, ASB Secretary Darlene Demmers and agriculture teacher Gene Lieb.

Lieb has been taking students to the National Convention for eight years and says it is important to him to do so because it is a memorable experience for many students as they participate in a lot of things that they wouldn’t normally have the ability to.

Along with the four-day convention, the FFA students will have the opportunity to visit a goldfish farm and tour different monuments in Washington D.C. as well.

Samuel Hernandez, Firebaugh’s Chapter President this year, explains that he hopes to gain a better understanding of the ways in which different states run their agriculture departments. In addition, Hernandez said that the National Convention will help him “bring home some new leadership skills in order to further improve the high school’s FFA Chapter for the rest of the school year.”

This trip will also be providing a handful of students with the experience of flying for the first time. Isaiah Martinez said, “This will be a new experience. I am already excited for the flying, the tours, and the convention, and it’s all thanks to FFA.” Martinez said FFA has opened many doors for him to be more involved in high school.

Firebaugh FFA has been nominated as a two-star chapter for the national chapter and will be recognized on stage during the FFA Convention in November.

Samantha Rangel