When 56,000 people gather for the 82nd National FFA Convention in Indianapolis Oct. 21-24, West Virginia University will be in the thick of things. You can be there with them by following @MountaineerFFA on Twitter.

More than a dozen graduate and undergraduate students and faculty from WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design will be on hand at the convention to network with educators and professionals, chat with prospective students and bring a big dose of gold and blue to the proceedings.

Thomas H. Brand III, a recruitment coordinator in the Davis College, has helmed WVU’s trips to the convention since 2005. Brand notes that WVU has one of the largest exhibits in the convention’s National Agricultural Career Show, which customarily hosts approximately 80 institutes of higher education and 400 employers and other exhibitors.

“We attend the FFA convention to talk with potential students who are active in the FFA because these are top-notch students,” Brand said. “Their GPAs, communication skills, and leadership abilities tend to place them in the top tier of high school students.”

Brand has assembled a team of student ambassadors representing WVU’s programs in agribusiness management and rural development, agricultural and extension education, animal and nutritional sciences, elementary education, forestry, horticulture and wildlife and fisheries resources. They hail from West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

FFA is a dynamic youth organization that is a part of agricultural education programs at middle schools and high schools. Founded as the Future Farmers of America, the name was changed in 1988 to reflect the growing diversity of agriculture. Student members are engaged in a wide range of curriculum and FFA activities, leading to numerous opportunities in agriculture. Their national convention is one of the largest annual youth events in the world.


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CONTACT: David Welsh