The 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo concluded on Saturday in Indianapolis. Nearly 70,000 FFA members and guests from around the country were in our state’s capital last week. Indiana colleges and universities took the opportunity to show off their ag programs to those members.
Purdue College of Agriculture senior Courtney Kelley, an ag education major from Salem, IN and a student ambassador, says this is one of the best opportunities they have to recruit out-of-state students. She says many FFA students already know Purdue has a world-renowned ag program when they come to the booth.
Kelley told HAT that California is one of the most represented states in Purdue’s College of Ag.
“This is such different agriculture than California agriculture, and so a lot of them are coming because they want a holistic animal science degree instead of just a dairy science degree, which is very common in California, or they’re interested in Midwest viticulture because wine production is a huge deal in California. We have that to offer.”
So, what’s the pitch for prospective students? Kelley cites her own experiences.
“I had never been to another country before I came to Purdue, and now I’ve been to 25 countries. I had never considered owning a greenhouse, operating a greenhouse, or doing floriculture for a career, and now, because of that, I absolutely love horticulture. There’s just a lot of opportunities that I accredit solely to the College of Agriculture that I would not have had.”
Purdue also had campus tours available for students in town for the convention.
Other Indiana institutions participated in the expo as well. Ancilla College and Huntington University each had a booth, while Ivy Tech had their new mobile ag classroom for students to tour.