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An energetic atmosphere as National FFA Convention kicks off in Indy

Nearly 70,000 members of the National FFA Organization are in Indianapolis this week for the 96th Annual Convention.

National FFA president Andrew Seibel of Virginia tells Brownfield whether this is an FFA member’s first convention or their final one he hopes this week will spark some magic.  “This experience is what we make it,” he says.  “Lean into every opportunity and if you take those opportunities in you’re really going to find that it’s a special week.”

AUDIO: Andrew Seibel, National FFA President

Karstyn Cantrell Central Region Vice President from Oklahoma says it is important for all members to feel at home. “So people see you as a person who not only counts joy but shares joy,” she says.  “That’s important to me.  So that people know they have a welcoming environment, a place to hold those challenges and those tough conversations but just being opening and welcoming.”

AUDIO: Karstyn Cantrell, Central Region Vice President

Gracie Murphy of Illinois, Eastern Region Vice President says she wants members to get out of their comfort zone and figure out what moves them.  “If that’s not leadership, that’s okay,” she says.  “Because FFA has a lot of different opportunities.  Maybe it’s in a contest they do or maybe it’s a conference.  But whatever it is, take chances, take risks.  Because that’s what this organization is all about.”

AUDIO: Gracie Murphy, Eastern Region Vice President

Southern Region Vice President MacKenna Clifton of North Carolina says this week has great opportunities, but it’s important not to get caught up in the bright lights and big city.  “Take advantage of the small moments,” she says.  “Just breathe.  Because if we take a moment to pause and appreciate why we’re here, to focus on the central message of agriculture, we can take that back home and have a positive impact for years and years to come.”

AUDIO: MacKenna Clifton, Southern Region Vice President

Jessica Herr, National FFA Secretary from Pennsylvania says she’s looking forward to meeting with students from around the country this week.  “I’m a firm believer in community,” she says.  “I believe that our lives were not meant to be lived alone. I hope that students, when they walk away from Indianapolis, away from National Convention, they’re reminded of the community that we find when we wear our blue jackets.”

AUDIO: Jessica Herr, National FFA Secretary

Western Region Vice President Ryan Williamson of Texas says this week is an opportunity for growth for all members.  “Maybe it’s winning a contest,” he says.  “But I also hope it’s hearing our keynote speaker or hearing one of my team members’ retiring address.  Maybe it’s celebrating another member’s accomplishment.”

AUDIO: Ryan Williamson, Western Region Vice President

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