Indiana Agriculture Insider

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There's 'just one' National FFA Convention

National FFA

Just one. One moment, encounter or opportunity is all it takes to change our lives and to help make a difference in our communities and world. That was the theme that resonated around Indianapolis last week, as 69,956 FFA members filled Banker’s Life Fieldhouse and the Convention Center for the 91st National FFA Convention and Expo. This year’s record high attendance, coupled with the talent and passion of each member, made the 2018 convention another remarkable success.

It is estimated that national convention has an annual economic impact of $40 million, and while this is tremendous news for the local economy, the benefit it affords each member to grow personally and professionally is priceless. Whether it’s competing in a career development event or participating in the talent show, it allows them to put into practice what they’ve learned in the classroom/chapter and to test their agricultural knowledge and abilities against students from all across the nation. It also teaches them personal responsibility and how to communicate and work as a team while gaining real-world experience and skills that will set them up for success later in life. The members are then able to see their hard work pay off, as the winners of the various competitions are recognized in front of their peers during one of the general sessions.

General Session

This year, as in the past, each general session offered an unforgettable experience for its attendees. They included everything from motivational speakers, like author Kyle Scheele and Microsoft’s Mary Snapp, to amazing performances, such as Emma Long’s rendition of “Don’t Stop Belivin’.” Predominant leaders in agriculture were also in attendance including U.S. Secretary for Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and Indiana’s very own, Governor Eric Holcomb and Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, who spoke about the importance of our agricultural industry.

Outside of the general sessions, FFA members had the opportunity to learn about a variety of agricultural sectors by touring farms and meeting with farmers from all across the state. They were also able to attend the National FFA Expo, which offered an assortment of hands-on activities and experiences, like the newly established FFA Blue Room. Sponsored by Microsoft and AgriNovus Indiana, the blue room was an incredible showcase of agricultural innovation and the agbisosciences, and provided FFA members the chance to learn about different high-tech careers in agriculture.

National FFA

While most of the programming at convention was geared towards professional development, attendees were also encouraged to give back to their communities and participated in a variety of service projects. Packing meals at Gleaners Food Bank, beautifying the Cultural Trail and restoring murals at the Indiana State Fairgrounds were just some of the many ways these students put the last part of the FFA motto – living to serve – in action.

The following list includes some of the main awards that were handed out during the 2018 National FFA Convention, and Indiana was well represented among this year’s award recipients.

  • American FFA Degree: This year, 129 Indiana FFA members received the American FFA Degree, which was awarded to those who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA and made significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experiences. Click here to see the full list.
  • Agricultural Proficiency Awards: This year, seven FFA members were finalists for the Agricultural Proficiency Award, which honors FFA members who, through supervised agricultural experiences, have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers. Of those seven, Collin Tennant of Manchester Community FFA and Peyton Mohler of Rossville FFA won their proficiency. Click here to see the full list.
  • National Chapter Award Program: Twenty-one Indiana FFA chapters received the National Chapter Award, which recognizes chapters that successfully complete an annual Program of Activities, including a series of activities designed to encourage its members to grow as individuals, to work as part of a team and to serve others. Click here to see a full list. Notably, this year, the Hope FFA Chapter, Hope Ind., received the National Premier Chapter Award: Growing Leaders, for their "Go Live Yourself” campaign. Click here to read the full announcement.
  • Agriscience Fair: Many Indiana FFA members received the National FFA Agriscience Fair award in various concentrations, which recognizes student researchers studying the application of agricultural scientific principles and emerging technologies in agricultural enterprises. Participation begins at the local level and progresses to state and national levels. Click here to see the full list of Indiana award recipients.
  • American Star Award: Indiana had three candidates vying for the FFA State Star Award, which recognizes members who have gone above and beyond in their attitude, involvement, community service and supervised agricultural experience: Drake Davis of Southmont FFA (Star Agricultural Placement Candidate); Wyatt Law of Hoosier Hills FFA (Star Agribusiness Candidate); and Karson Harris of Sullivan FFA (Star Agriscience Candidate). Click here to see the full list of this year’s finalists.

On behalf of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, we would like to congratulate all of this year’s award participants, finalists and winners at the 91st National FFA Convention. We would also like to give a special shout-out to Claire Baney on making it to the top 23 finalists and representing Indiana well as Indiana’s National FFA Officer candidate.

The 92nd National FFA Convention & Expo will be held again in Indianapolis in October of 2019. Visit to learn more about each award, convention and the organization.

State awards more than $1 million for Clean Water Indiana projects


The State Soil Conservation Board awarded more than $1 million to 32 Soil and Water Conservation Districts for projects designed to improve water quality across the state. This funding is part of the Clean Water Indiana grant program, which is administered by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

The CWI program, funded mainly by the state’s cigarette tax revenue, was designed to support Indiana’s conservation districts, as they work to reduce non-point sources of water pollution. While the projects vary depending on the needs of each district, some examples include promoting conservation, purchasing better equipment and providing technical assistance, education and training in the community.

Districts were also encouraged to collaborate with neighboring counties and many will use this funding to leverage additional resources from outside organizations or cost-share programs.

Robert Woodling, SSCB Chairman, believes this funding is crucial to supporting the voluntary conservation efforts of farmers.

Click here to see a list of grant recipients.


Nov. 5
Indiana Land Resources Council meeting
Nov. 6
Offices closed for Election Day
Nov. 22-23
Offices closed for Thanksgiving
Nov. 29
2018 Agbiosciences Innovation Summit



The state’s Indiana Grown program is teaming up with three organizations to provide Indiana school corporations greater access to local foods.

As part of a Farm to School grant, Indiana Grown is putting together a local school food resource guide and is looking for farmers, producers and businesses that are interested in selling their products. Some examples of these products include fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and drinks, such as milk or juice.

Farmers, producers and businesses interested in selling their products must be located in Indiana and complete an online survey by 5:00 p.m. (ET) on Feb. 1, 2019. Participation in the survey is not a guarantee of sales.


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Indiana State Department of Agriculture 
One North Capitol Avenue, Suite 600 
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317.232.1362 FAX