Excitement builds as students return to Brookings for the 94th State FFA Convention

Alexis Hughes South Dakota State Ffa Reporter

Alexis Hughes South Dakota State FFA Reporter

BROOKINGS, S.D. –  Each year FFA members join together each spring for the South Dakota State FFA Convention.  Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the convention which is normally held on the South Dakota State University campus had to be held online in 2020 and in Rapid City in 2021.  Students have eagerly anticipated the convention’s return to the land-grant university.

“We are super excited about the State Convention. There will be 2,400 students here to compete in career development events, which is a super big number. We haven’t seen that in a while.  We are super excited to see that kind of growth and see how FFA has made an impact on those students this year,” said Alexis Hughes, South Dakota State FFA Reporter from Rapid City, S.D.

Students will converge on April 24-26 to celebrate the achievements of one another, network and forge new friendships among their peers, to share the message of leadership and the importance of agriculture and embody service to others. This year’s theme is ‘Elevate’, honoring FFA chapters and members that have raised the bar in their communities and schools and set themselves apart.

“On our Sunday session, we will honor the members and chapters that have elevated their potential and performance this year.  We are highlighting those members whose passion for FFA has grown throughout the years,” said Hughes.

Some of these elevated accomplishments include – the McCook Central livestock evaluation team which placed third at the National FFA Convention as eighth-graders and freshmen; and the Lennox FFA Chapter who rebuilt their school’s shop after a devastating tornado.

The three-day convention is jam-packed with activities, leadership workshops, a career fair, community service projects, competitions that demonstrate agricultural skills and social events.

Hughes who is a nursing major at South Dakota State University said that her FFA career has helped her build confidence in herself.  She herself did not come from an agricultural background.

“It’s not just all cows and plows but also about leadership and teamwork.  You learn so much more.  You learn networking skills, public speaking and get to make a lot of fun memories,” she said.  “FFA has given me a lot more perspective of how agriculture is intertwined into everything.  I ran for state office because I wanted to be that voice in South Dakota for those that don’t come from a big agricultural background but still want to be in FFA.”

Hughes will be giving her retiring address at the Sunday evening session of the convention.  The session will also award the FFA Family of the Year, the American FFA Degree awards, and proficiency awards.

The session will be live-streamed on ConnectCenter1.tv.  It will air at 6 p.m. MST April 24th.

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Ag, Local News, South Dakota News