PULLMAN, Wash. — As one group of students leaves Pullman for the summer, another is arriving. 3,000 FFA members in blue blazers will flood the Washington State University campus May 12-14 to attend the 81st annual State FFA Convention. The convention is one of the largest youth gatherings in the Pacific Northwest. The convention holds state level competitions along with the pairing of several events hosted by the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.
The purpose of State FFA Convention is to recognize the efforts and advancements made by Washington’s 8,000 FFA members and also serves as a culmination of the school year.
“The convention brings members together to compete in numerous career development events that teaches them life and agricultural skills. It’s also an opportunity for students to meet other students from around the state and create lifelong friendships” said Paige Druffel, the current president of Washington State FFA.
Washington State FFA has teamed up with the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences to host hands-on educational workshops. The workshops touch on subjects ranging from dairy production to applying for scholarships and are known for engaging students in new and inventive ways.
“We hope the workshops on offer give FFA members an exciting glimpse of the majors at WSU and related career possibilities,” said Kate McIlraith, assistant director of recruitment and retention for CAHNRS. “We want FFA members to get excited about becoming WSU students. Every year, some of our most motivated, bright, and creative new students are FFA members. It is our experience that they quickly become leaders within CAHNRS and WSU.”
“These are ‘beyond the book’ opportunities for people to experience potential career options by engaging in activities related to the career path,” said Kim Kidwell, associate dean of academic programs. “If an FFA member wonders if they might be interested in a particular career path, they will have the chance to try it on for size, so to speak. Learning by doing is a CAHNRS specialty.”