The green tractor between Montana Hall and the Renne Library set the stage perfectly for the annual Future Farmers of America (FFA) John Deere Ag Expo. The John Deere Ag Expo had over 1,600 FFA members compete in 20 events with 1,800 projects presented, from showing livestock, to mechanics, to running a board meeting. The event took place at MSU from Nov. 9-11 in the SUB.
FFA is a student-run organization based on the education of agriculture and becoming a leader in today’s world. Cody Boyce, a pre-veterinary medicine major and member of FFA, explained that the purpose of FFA is to “promote career success and enrollment among students, primarily high school students.” The leadership in career success was put to the test at the John Deere Ag Expo last weekend as individual FFA members were judged on speaking, showing, organization and overall leadership skills which will ultimately help in any career path they choose to follow.
Although FFA is a national organization, the Montana chapter is unique in more than one way. Nationally, there are around 60,000 members, with 5,000 members in Montana alone, making the Montana chapter the largest in the country. Because of its size, the 95 sub-chapters are able to participate in tours, events and other opportunities which are not available to other organizations or clubs in the state. One such event is the John Deere Ag Expo. This year, there were no chapters from other states, but it was still a full house.
FFA and MSU have been working together for six years to create the John Deere Ag Expo, with MSU providing more than just the space. The Agriculture Department is deeply involved with giving tours, lectures and helping out with the Expo and other events put on by FFA. With help from MSU, FFA has been able to grow their current opportunities to current, future and past members.