Lakeland Future Farmers of America Chapter members Will March, Katarina Mehalko and Barrett Moore pose outside of the 86th National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville.
Lakeland Future Farmers of America Chapter members Will March, Katarina Mehalko and Barrett Moore pose outside of the 86th National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville.

Archived Story

Lakeland FFA members go to convention

Published 8:59pm Saturday, February 8, 2014

Three members of the Lakeland Future Farmers of America Chapter traveled to Louisville, Ky., recently to take part in the 86th National FFA Convention and Expo.

The Lakeland members, Katarina Mehalko, Will March and Barrett Moore, along with chapter adviser, Ronald Daughtrey, were part of a record-setting 62,998 registered for the event.

After a 12-hour bus ride from Lakeland, the members joined the other Virginia participants for a dinner cruise on the Belle of Louisville river boat. This excursion gave the Lakeland group a chance to meet the other members from across the state.

Following a tour of the convention facilities, the Lakeland trio was on hand for the opening of the Agricultural Expo, which featured more than 400 exhibitors, including nearly every agricultural university and college in the nation, commercial exhibitors, government agencies and an agri-science fair.

During the business sessions in Freedom Hall, members heard speakers such as University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino and Paralympic skier and motivation speaker Josh Sunquist. A special moment was seeing Dodge Trucks present a check to the FFA Foundation for $1 million dollars as part of a special deal based on their ad from last year’s Super Bowl.

While at the convention, the Lakeland members participated in leadership and career workshops presented by teams of former national and state FFA officers as well as industry representatives from across the country. They also had the unique experience of seeing a performance by Dr. Al Snyder, a professional hypnotist.

While in Louisville, the members went to some of the city’s “must see” attractions. The visited the Muhammad Ali Center, which was next door to Virginia’s waterfront hotel, the Galt House. Members also went to the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory and Museum and to Churchill Downs for a tour of the home of the Kentucky Derby and its museum.

The National FFA Convention and Expo will be in Louisville for two more years before moving back to Indianapolis, Ind. for three years.

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