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  BEHIND THE SCENES OF STATE CONVENTION
 
By: Jake Kobersky, Weimar FFA and Jessica Dorgan, Iowa Park FFA
July 13, 2012

 
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When it comes to state convention, it did not really start here and now. It began months ago, in several cities throughout Texas.

State officers and members of the planning committees said preparing for state convention is an ongoing task that takes place almost year round. Many FFA members are unaware of the countless hours and continuous efforts that are necessary to make state convention an unforgettable experience.

The official convention script has been in the works since January. “Writing and memorizing the script is about a six-month process,” Large explains.

Another instrumental aspect of the state convention is the development of the exhibit space where students are able to visit a variety of booths. Frank Neely, general manager of Fun Factory Events, is in charge of setting up the exhibit booths and storing freight prior to convention. He describes preparing the exhibit hall as “a year-round job.” Neely has had an account with the Texas FFA State Convention for 54 years, which is longer than any other event he coordinates.

“Every year, the FFA convention gets better,” Neely explained.

Another key contributor to preparing for convention is event planner Laura Traylor. She is involved in selecting host cities and preparing them to facilitate crowds of blue and gold clad students.

Similar to the Olympic Games city selection, state convention host-cities are chosen many years in advance. Traylor explains, “It takes at least five years to plan a convention,” Traylor said.

She has planned 18 FFA conventions and notes the FFA is an organization of constant change. As a result, she has learned to be very adaptive during the planning process.

Convention would be nearly impossible to undertake without corporate funding raised by the host committee. Host Committee Chairperson John Stillhammer said the committee’s monetary goal was surpassed this year with a record $205,000. The host committee also arranged speaking contest judges, tours for the state officers, printing of the chronicle and several dinners.

The passion and effort put into planning convention is shared by all involved - state officers, FFA staff, event planners and decorators.
 








 
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