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Attending the 91st National FFA Convention and Expo

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Posted on November 19, 2018 by Josh Loew '20, a Delaware Valley University biology major .

Courtesy: Josh Loew '20 Josh Loew '20 (third from the right) met Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at the event.

Currently, I serve as the state FFA president for the New Jersey FFA Association alongside a fellow “Aggie” Jamie Specca '22, who serves as the state vice president. Recently, we attended the 91st National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana as the two leadership delegates representing New Jersey FFA.

We worked hard to ensure our voices were heard and we advocated for what we believe is best for the organization. I served on a committee which evaluated FFA degree requirements and Jamie served on a committee evaluating the implementation of technology into FFA programs. 

Some other significant events from the convention included being selected as one of eight FFA members to attend a roundtable discussion with the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, meeting the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and hearing a speech from President Donald Trump.

We also had the opportunity to visit “The Inaugural Blue Room” which was presented by Agrinovus and powered by Microsoft to showcase technological advancements in agriculture. We experienced a Garth Brooks concert that was open solely to people attending the National FFA Convention where Garth Brooks was given a lifetime FFA membership as well as his very own FFA jacket- he stated: “This isn't a convention, it's a freaking PARTY!” 

Other speakers/ performers included Easton Corbin, Kyle Scheele, Samuel R. Allen (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, John Deere & Company), and Mary Snapp (Vice President, Microsoft Philanthropies).

I also attended roundtable discussions about food waste and plant technologies. Jamie, who is an agriculture education major at DelVal, attended a roundtable discussion about “Agricultural Education in North America."

Exciting news came as it was determined that six students at DelVal earned their American FFA degrees, the highest degree an FFA member can earn. Earning this degree is an honor that less than one percent of FFA members receive.

This year has been filled with remarkable experiences and opportunities and they will continue to be presented next year. In January, Jamie and I will be traveling to South Africa for the International Leadership Seminar for State Officers. This will be an international experience to learn about agriculture, culture, and history with the National FFA Organization.

If you see us around feel free to ask us about our experiences!

About the Author
Josh Loew '20 is a Delaware Valley University biology major. He serves as the state FFA president for the New Jersey FFA Association.