The University's main campus will be dotted this week with the navy blue jackets of the Future Farmers of America. Nearly 425 students from high school FFA programs across the state will convene for the 83rd Nevada FFA Convention, March 20 to 24. Also attending will be high school teachers, FFA officers from other states, members of the University's Collegiate FFA Chapter and representatives of the agriculture industry.
With competitions, workshops and social activities - many organized by members of the University's Collegiate FFA Chapter - the convention program is designed to educate and motivate the participants. The convention is the culmination of the year's high-school based activities, and the program includes award presentations to honor the achievements of students and teachers.
The program also includes a service project on March 22, when 50 Nevada FFA students will volunteer to help Rancho San Rafael Park's horticulturist with cleanup and maintenance of the landscape from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The morning includes a workshop at which students will learn about planning service projects.
The national FFA organization was founded by a group of young farmers in 1928 to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. Today, the FFA program continues that mission and incorporates leadership development, career development and service opportunities. "Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve" is the organization's motto.
"We want students to work together to promote agriculture and to improve the Truckee Meadows community," said Catelyn Sanders, the 2012 Nevada State FFA president.
Most of the Nevada FFA Convention sessions will be in the William J. Raggio Building and the daily general sessions will be in Lawlor Events Center.