1,800 expected for state FFA convention this week in Greeley | TheFencePost.com
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1,800 expected for state FFA convention this week in Greeley

Bill Jackson

The 81st Colorado FFA State Convention comes to Greeley this week and is expected to draw 1,800 FFA members, advisers and guests to Island Grove Regional Park for the three-day event.

The convention will be Tuesday-Thursday. Convention headquarters will be in the Clarion Hotel in downtown Greeley, but Kenton Ochsner of Kersey, state FFA adviser, said all events will be at Island Grove. The convention hall will be the Events Center and the career show exhibits will be in the Exhibition Building.

The last time the state convention was in Greeley was in the mid-1980s.

Heather Scott, general manager of the Clarion Hotel, said the hotel is close to being full.

“It’s great for us and it’s great for Greeley. We’re excited,” Scott said.

Kim Parker is the conference and tourism director for the Greeley Chamber of Commerce. She said the economic impact on Greeley is “easily $500,000.” Parker said most hotel rooms in the area are full Tuesday and Wednesday nights with some bookings for the entire week.

Ochsner said there are a couple of new twists to this year’s convention. Tuesday afternoon, more than 100 FFA members from around the state will spend three or four hours volunteering at the Weld Food Bank, or with park cleanup and community projects.

The 2008-2009 state FFA officer team has been in charge of planning this year’s convention, which includes most Weld County chapters. Every school district in Weld has a chapter.

Andy Bartlett, 19, a 2008 graduate of Merino High School, has served the last year as state FFA president.

“It’s taken me to places I thought I would never go and I’ve met so many people. It was just more than I expected,” Bartlett said. Now that he’s served his year, he said he plans to enter Northeastern Junior College in Sterling this fall and begin work on a double major of agriculture education and agronomy, with plans to finish that work at Colorado State University.

“I’ve really looked at ag ed the past couple of years, but I’d still like to farm, too,” he said. His family has an alfalfa hay, corn and wheat farm along the South Platte River south of Merino in Logan County where he leased corners of two sprinkler systems from his father as part of his agriculture education programs with FFA, raising alfalfa and corn.

A highlight of his year was a 10-day trip to China he and the rest of the state officer team took in November. That’s an option for all teams, which raise money for the trip and get some financial help from the Colorado FFA Foundation.

On their return, the officers broke into teams of two and visited all 96 FFA chapters in the state, talking about their trip and promoting the convention.

“The year really went by fast. It’s just been amazing,” Bartlett said.

“We got the opportunity to learn their agriculture industry technology and the chance to inform them of what we do in the U.S. We met with about 20 agriculture college students and spent three to four hours with them,” Bartlett said.

The 81st Colorado FFA State Convention comes to Greeley this week and is expected to draw 1,800 FFA members, advisers and guests to Island Grove Regional Park for the three-day event.

The convention will be Tuesday-Thursday. Convention headquarters will be in the Clarion Hotel in downtown Greeley, but Kenton Ochsner of Kersey, state FFA adviser, said all events will be at Island Grove. The convention hall will be the Events Center and the career show exhibits will be in the Exhibition Building.

The last time the state convention was in Greeley was in the mid-1980s.

Heather Scott, general manager of the Clarion Hotel, said the hotel is close to being full.

“It’s great for us and it’s great for Greeley. We’re excited,” Scott said.

Kim Parker is the conference and tourism director for the Greeley Chamber of Commerce. She said the economic impact on Greeley is “easily $500,000.” Parker said most hotel rooms in the area are full Tuesday and Wednesday nights with some bookings for the entire week.

Ochsner said there are a couple of new twists to this year’s convention. Tuesday afternoon, more than 100 FFA members from around the state will spend three or four hours volunteering at the Weld Food Bank, or with park cleanup and community projects.

The 2008-2009 state FFA officer team has been in charge of planning this year’s convention, which includes most Weld County chapters. Every school district in Weld has a chapter.

Andy Bartlett, 19, a 2008 graduate of Merino High School, has served the last year as state FFA president.

“It’s taken me to places I thought I would never go and I’ve met so many people. It was just more than I expected,” Bartlett said. Now that he’s served his year, he said he plans to enter Northeastern Junior College in Sterling this fall and begin work on a double major of agriculture education and agronomy, with plans to finish that work at Colorado State University.

“I’ve really looked at ag ed the past couple of years, but I’d still like to farm, too,” he said. His family has an alfalfa hay, corn and wheat farm along the South Platte River south of Merino in Logan County where he leased corners of two sprinkler systems from his father as part of his agriculture education programs with FFA, raising alfalfa and corn.

A highlight of his year was a 10-day trip to China he and the rest of the state officer team took in November. That’s an option for all teams, which raise money for the trip and get some financial help from the Colorado FFA Foundation.

On their return, the officers broke into teams of two and visited all 96 FFA chapters in the state, talking about their trip and promoting the convention.

“The year really went by fast. It’s just been amazing,” Bartlett said.

“We got the opportunity to learn their agriculture industry technology and the chance to inform them of what we do in the U.S. We met with about 20 agriculture college students and spent three to four hours with them,” Bartlett said.


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