More than 55,000 student members of FFA and their teachers from throughout the U.S., Puerto and the Virgin Islands will attend this week's annual National FFA Convention & Expo, Oct. 24-27 in Indianapolis, Ind.
Nine general sessions will be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium. The Expo, an event that showcases nearly 400 corporations, businesses, organizations and colleges Wednesday through Friday at Indiana Convention Center, is also included in the event.
Figure skating star Scott Hamilton will be the keynote speaker during the convention's opening session. Hamilton was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and is a privileged member of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. He inspires others as a speaker, philanthropist and cancer and brain tumor survivor.
Other keynote speakers include Dr. Lowell Catlett, an agriculture professor, former NBA star Walter Bond and native Hoosier Josh Bleill, a former Marine-turned-motivational-speaker after losing both legs while serving in Iraq.
The convention and expo and its various event components are closed to the general public.
Throughout the week, FFA members and teachers attend workshops and take career and educational tours of central Indiana businesses, including Dow AgroSciences, Elanco Animal Health, CISCO companies, Chip Ganassi Racing, Purdue University, Hoosier Park and more.
Thursday, FFA members will canvas the central Indiana community and perform various community service as part of convention week's National Days of Service event. FFA members will give their talents, skills and time to Damar Services, Gleaners Food Bank, Indy Parks, Second Helpings, St. Vincent de Paul and more.
A rodeo begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday nights. Friday night's rodeo will be the last event held at the Indiana State Fairground's Coliseum before the building undergoes a full renovation. A special ceremony featuring state, city and fairground leaders will be held immediately following the Friday night show to commemorate the building's rich history.
The 2012 National FFA Convention & Expo will culminate Saturday with the election of a new, six-member National FFA Officer team to help lead the organization for the next year.