Lakeland FFA attends 75th national convention

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 14, 2002

Five members of the Lakeland High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter recently traveled to Louisville, Ky. to participate in the seventy-fifth annual National FFA Convention.

The convention, which had a paid registration of over 51,000 people, gave the Lakeland members a chance to meet FFA members from all fifty states as well as the United States territories.

The Lakeland members were Kerri Brown, Brittany Butler, James Carcich, Chris Corbett, and Kellie Daughtrey.


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They departed after school on a Tuesday and returned to Suffolk on the following Sunday.

In celebration of the FFA’s seventy-fifth anniversary, a time capsule, which was sealed at the fiftieth convention in 1977, was opened.

At the conclusion of the session, a special guest was introduced to the convention attendees – Muhammad Ali.

At the convention’s official opening session, members heard comments from former FFA member and Olympic gold metal wrestler, Rulon Gardner.

Also speaking at the session was University of Louisville basketball coach, Rick Pitano.

The main sessions were held in the 20,000 seat Freedom Hall.

Another speaker who had a tremendous message was Dr. Rick Rigsby from Texas A&M.

The huge Kentucky Fair and Exposition center offered space for a wide variety of activities.

Several members attended a show by professional hypnotist Dr. Jim Wand. Dr. Wand is a former FFA member who has been performing at the convention for many years.

A feature at each year’s convention is the largest agricultural career show in the country.

The members had the opportunity to meet and gather information from several hundred exhibitors which included many business and industry representatives as well as representatives from nearly every agricultural college and university in the country.

Many of the displays allowed members to try out products or to see cutting-edge technology which is yet to be on the market.

Throughout the convention there were numerous leadership workshops offered by former FFA members from across the country.

These workshops were available to all attendees on a first-come, first-served basis.

They were very action oriented and interactive.

One night of the convention the Lakeland members were treated to a concert by country music stars Brad Paisley and Steve Holy. Another night, the entertainment was provided by groups Lonestar and Emerson Drive.

There was even a professional bull riding show one evening.

Members also took the opportunity to explore several Louisville attractions.

One afternoon was spent at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.

Members watched several races and toured the Kentucky Derby Museum.

The Lakeland group also toured the Louisville Slugger bat factory and museum.

One member even had a personalized bat made while he waited. The National FFA convention is five days packed with many options and choices but rarely a dull moment.

Call Ronald C. Daughtrey, FFA Advisor at Lakeland High School at 925-5530 for more information.