“Ain’t it funny how some things take you back?
And the here and now just fades to black
When I pull that blue tarp off of that time machine
Man it hits me” (Georgia Clay by Josh Kelley)
Seven years ago, thousands of FFA members gathered in Indianapolis for the National FFA Convention & Expo. The event had previously taken place in Louisville, Ky. However, for the last seven years, Indy has allowed us to call it home.
Countless things have changed since the city began hosting the convention and expo. Each year a few additions, updates or new structures have provided a more convenient convention and expo for the more than 55,000 visiting FFA members and guests from across the nation.
Georgia Street, renamed “FFA Way” during the convention and expo, received a new look over the years and opened up more walking room for FFA members and visitors. The RCA Dome was torn down and Lucas Oil Stadium was established. The Indiana Convention Center has grown and developed over the years to make more room for walkways and event rooms. The most recent change involved Conseco Fieldhouse, which was renamed Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Major FFA changes have also occurred while here in Indianapolis. In 2007, membership broke the half-million mark with 500,823 members in 7,358 chapters. In 2011, we also witnessed the change of national advisors with Dr. Larry Case’s retirement and Dr. Steve Brown’s installation.
“It’s a little sad to leave Indy, just because we have all grown to know and love it. But it is always exciting to go to a new or different place,” said Ashley Sumerix, a Collegiate FFA member.
Change is necessary for an organization to continue growing and learning.
Dan May from Iowa commented, “Indy has allowed me to Grow in FFA. From high school student to college student to advisor! Great memories. Great friends. Thanks Indianapolis!”
Thank you, Indianapolis for allowing blue and gold corduroy jackets to invade your city for the last seven years. Thank you for being a friendly and gracious host. Thank you for accommodating us and being a place of adventure. But most of all, thanks for the memories.
We’ll see you again in 2016.
Emily Walker is a senior at Michigan State University majoring in environmental studies and agriscience communications. This year, she’s reporting on the convention and expo as part of the National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Crew.