The Missouri FFA says its state convention in Columbia is expected to draw about 9,000 people to the Hearnes Center. The two-day event will take place on April 20 and 21, a Thursday and Friday.
Missouri FFA executive secretary Teresa Briscoe of Moberly says the FFA loves coming to Columbia. She tells 939 the Eagle that 91 of the last 95 annual conventions have been held here.
“We know that direct financial economic impact is somewhere approaching $1.5 million. We know that indirect impact economically is somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.2 million to that community,” Briscoe says.
Briscoe says Missouri has more than 26,000 FFA members, which ranks eighth nationally. There will be speakers during the convention, along with competition and awards. This year’s theme is “ignite, embrace, empower.”
You’ll notice thousands of young people wearing blue jackets during the convention. Those blue jackets were designed in the 1930s. Ms. Briscoe tells 939 the Eagle that the students are all on the same playing field, when they’re wearing the blue jackets.
“When they’re all in their FFA jacket, there’s a sense of pride that those members have. There’s a sense of pride that their communities have that they’re part of something bigger than their hometown community,” says Briscoe.
She says Missouri’s FFA members come from every corner of the state. She also says today’s FFA members are tomorrow’s biologists, chemists and veterinarians.