For the third time since 2005, Lubbock opened its hotel rooms, restaurants, and much more to the 83rd Annual Texas FFA Convention. In addition, Texas Tech University, one of the state’s largest universities, opened the United Spirit Arena and other campus facilities for Texas FFA members to use during this week’s convention.
With a philosophy based on classic western hospitality, friendliness, understanding and appreciation of FFA’s importance, Lubbock’s citizens have embraced Texas FFA. City leadership has been at the forefront of an enthusiastic welcome that keeps Texas FFA returning to Lubbock.
“Our community has opened its arms to the students attending convention,” Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin said. “We, the people of Lubbock, like having young people in our communities.”
In formally welcoming the Texas FFA, Martin and his staff hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday morning by the main entrance of the United Spirit Arena. Leadership from Texas FFA and Lubbock, including a representative from the Lubbock host committee, were in attendance.
“I always enjoy doing an opening ceremony or ribbon cutting,” Martin said. “To have a convention as large as the state FFA convention, is a tremendous honor for us to be able to host.”
Martin speaks for more than 200,000 Lubbock residents who have been ready and willing to let Texas FFA flood the streets and display their dedication to agriculture and education. With agriculture supplying a large portion of the jobs found in Lubbock, this comes as no surprise to city leaders like Martin.
“We have an economy that’s based primarily on agriculture,” Martin said. “It’s a natural fit to have the convention here in Lubbock.”
Although generosity is of highest importance for city leaders and business professionals, the economic benefits are an added bonus.
“Each year that we’ve held the convention, it has had close to a ten million dollar impact on our economy, something very positive for Lubbock,” Martin said.
In addition to the economic benefits convention brings, the chance for students to get a closer glimpse of Texas Tech is a recruitment tool for the university.
“Having the Texas FFA gives the students an opportunity to see Texas Tech at its best,” Martin said. “Hopefully, they’ll feel like they’re at home here.”
A journalism graduate from Texas Tech, Martin knows firsthand the importance of education and will continue to vigorously endorse hosting the Texas FFA in the future.
“I’m very proud of our community,” Martin said. “We love having the Texas FFA here.”