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National FFA Convention Returning to Louisville


The National FAA Convention is returning to Louisville for  three straight years after an eight year absence—and it's expected to bring with it huge economical and community benefits, Mayor Greg Fischer said.“When it comes to groups we love to have in our city, the FFA is at the top of the list,” Fischer said. “Not only do they bring numbers, but they bring a tremendous excitement and enthusiasm.”The FFA (once called the Future Farmers of America) convention is expected to bring a $40 million impact to the city as attendees utilize nearly 1,100 hotel rooms, restaurants and attractions.Fischer said the economic numbers were “staggering.”In addition to the economic benefits to the city, Fischer and Lee Weyland, the chairman of the Louisville downtown Management District Board, said they are excited about the organizations commitment to service that will be exhibiting throughout the community.Nearly 60,000 students from across the nation will be logging approximately 16,000 volunteer hours during the four day convention, National FFA President Clay Sapp said.“We will have the opportunity to work here in the city, the suburbs and beyond,” Sapp said.The convention will bring FFA students from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands together to network and discuss challenges and triumphs in hopes of advancing the education and advocacy of agriculture throughout the country.Josh Bledsoe, the chief operating officer of the National FFA Organization, said the convention is a great opportunity to inspire and motivate students to help strengthen their local communities.“We all know when our communities are stronger our counties are stronger, our states are stronger and our nation is stronger,” Bledsoe said.The convention will be from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2 and will feature presentations from University of Louisville men's  basketball coach Rick Pitino, retired New York City firefighter Joe Torrillo and U.S. Paralympic Ski Team member Josh Sundquist.Exhibitions from more than 450 corporations, organizations and colleges will be available to students during the convention and country music star, Dierks Bentley, will be giving and exclusive performance at the KFC Yum Center.The 2013 convention in Louisville is the first in a three year rotation with Indianapolis, FFA officials said.To register for a volunteer position, go here.

Jacob Ryan is an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.