The second annual Indiana FFA Christmas Open House pulled in a large crowd, including Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann. She and other members of the staff of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture visited the open house just before Christmas.
Part of the attraction was to visit the remodeled officer housing. The building, about 25 years old, needed some major overhaul and the work was completed recently. Ellspermann took advantage of the opportunity to visit the refurbished house, and also spent time in the Leadership Center where she addressed the FFA supporters who gathered for the holiday celebration.
Steve Hickey, director of the Indiana FFA Association, is a member of the staff of ISDA. His position was moved from the Department of Education to ISDA under the leadership of Joe Kelsay, former director of ISDA, and Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman. Since then the relationship between Indiana FFA and ISDA has strengthened. Hickey is the executive director of the association, but is not personally assigned to daily supervision and training of the Indiana state FFA officers. That job is done by Joe Martin, a former vocational agriculture teacher who is not a program specialist, primarily assigned to working with the officers.
Allie Abney, state president, was emcee for the open house. She thanked the Lt. Governor for her support. In return the Lt. Governor complemented the officers and all FFA members for what they do for Indiana and agriculture in general.
There are currently 10,000 FFA members in Indiana. The Indiana FFA Leadership Center serves members through camps and conferences, and through hosting some state contests and special events throughout the year. Joe Park, former ag teacher at Indiana Creek High School, is the director of the Indiana FFA Center. Lisa Chaudion, former FFA president, is the Indiana FFA Foundation director, and in charge of raising funds to help support the Indiana FFA Foundation.