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FFA members flood Lincoln for state convention

Nearly 7,800 students turned the city blue and gold in early April.

Elizabeth Hodges, Staff Writer

April 18, 2024

6 Slides

There were 7,746 FFA members wearing their familiar blue and gold jackets who flooded Lincoln, Neb., in early April.

With the population of Lincoln at 292,627, during the Nebraska State FFA Convention, FFA members in attendance increase the city’s population by 2.6%. If you take a trip downtown in Lincoln or are a college student on the University of Nebraska’s East Campus, you are guaranteed to see blue and gold jackets scattered all around.

Stop and talk to an FFA member about the state convention, and they will tell you that it is three days that they get to skip school. Even though these students are not at school, hands-on learning happens at the convention.

At Pinnacle Bank Arena, there is a career fair where agricultural businesses and commodity groups come to share more about their sector of agriculture. Students complete a scavenger hunt to encourage them to learn more about the ag industry in Nebraska.

During the convention, FFA members also take part in community service through the Living to Serve meal packaging event.

But when the contests that the students come to the convention for are on, students showcase their knowledge from the classroom through career and leadership development events.

Education goes beyond the classroom in FFA, and the state convention is just one testament of this hands-on leadership organization. Check out our slideshow from the 2024 convention in Lincoln.

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About the Author(s)

Elizabeth Hodges

Staff Writer, Farm Progress

Growing up on a third-generation purebred Berkshire hog operation, Elizabeth Hodges of Julian, Neb., credits her farm background as showing her what it takes to be involved in the ag industry. She began her journalism career while in high school, reporting on producer progress for the Midwest Messenger newspaper.

While a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she became a Husker Harvest Days intern at Nebraska Farmer in 2022. The next year, she was hired full time as a staff writer for Farm Progress. She plans to graduate in 2024 with a double major in ag and environmental sciences communications, as well as animal science.

Being on the 2022 Meat Judging team at UNL led her to be on the 2023 Livestock Judging team, where she saw all aspects of the livestock industry. She is also in Block and Bridle and has held different leadership positions within the club.

Hodges’ father, Michael, raises hogs, and her mother, Christy, is an ag education teacher and FFA advisor at Johnson County Central. Hodges is the oldest sibling of four.

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