More than 1,300 Virginia youth clad in blue corduroy jackets will bring an enthusiasm for agriculture to Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus for the 84th annual Virginia FFA Convention from June 21 to 24.

This year’s theme, “Dare to Discover,” will challenge FFA members from across the commonwealth to discover opportunities, self awareness, and leadership potential through participation in FFA. Since its creation in 1925, Virginia FFA has provided its members with opportunities for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through classroom education and hands on learning.

For four days, FFA members, agricultural educators, business leaders, university faculty and staff, and other representatives and guests will assemble to celebrate the success of the 2009-10 academic year. The 2010 convention boasts motivational speakers, shows, workshops, and award ceremonies to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to the achievements of the organization.

Paralympic skier Josh Sundquist, a native of Harrisonburg, Va., will open this year’s convention. Sundquist uses both comedy and his own triumphant life story of losing a leg at a young age to encourage youth to move beyond obstacles and challenges. Other speakers include Regina Holliday, immediate past vice president of National FFA’s Southern Region, and Barrette Keene, past president of National FFA.

Students will compete in career development events, which are state-level contests that allow students to showcase their understanding of the knowledge and skills required for careers in agriculture, such as job interviews, veterinary science, and animal issues. Students will be honored for their achievements throughout the past year. For example, the state proficiency awards will recognize outstanding students for their supervised agricultural experience projects. Other awards include state and area star awards, state and American degrees, and scholarships to two- and four-year institutions.

Virginia FFA currently serves over 10,000 high school and middle school students across the commonwealth through 216 local chapters in 57 counties. The national organization began in Virginia in September of 1925, when four recognized founders and teacher educators established a vision for excellence and success in agricultural education at an oak table at what was then known as Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Virginia Tech proudly houses that oak table in Litton-Reaves Hall today.

Share this story