FFA convention trying something different - WDRB 41 Louisville News

FFA convention trying something different

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- From farming to forecasting, the National FFA Convention is finding new ways to attract young people to agriculture.

For the last several years, there has been a steady decline in interest in farming or agriculture. So this year's theme is "Go All Out," and that's exactly what organizers have done.

There's even a booth that features roping steer. You could call it the taste of agriculture at the annual FFA convention at the fairgrounds.

"We raise turkeys and also corn and soybeans," said Melanie Adrian, FFA Student.

Adrian's family has been farming for three generations.

"Farming is hard work and it's not a flashy kind of industry," Adrian said.

But there's no guarantee she will join the family business.

"I would say that I am not 100 percent sure," said Melanie.

Melanie is one of a growing number of teens who are on the fence about agriculture and farming. That's why the FFA convention and vendors are getting creative, using meteorology and other attractions instead of just counting chickens before they hatch.

"There is a slight decline in people getting involved in farming and so really one of the main missions of the FFA is to keep these kids interested in the lifestyle," said Scott Arnold, with Tarter Farm and Ranch.

Arnold says the weather forecasting has been a big hit.

"We've talked to some people in general, you check the weather 10 or 20 times a day because that impacts your land, so it's a no-brainer," Arnold said.

In the spirit of this year's theme, teens are being reminded that there's more to agriculture than just working the farm.

"And that's one of the great reasons we love coming to the national convention is because they're able to see all of the different career options within agriculture," said Michelle Davis, FFA Advisor. "It's not just farming."

And that's why Melanie Adrian is still leaning towards joining the family business.

"It does help me narrow it down in the end...that I think I want to help with the family farm," said Adrian.

The national FFA Convention wraps up on Saturday morning. The event returns again next year for its third and final year here in Louisville.

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