"Be Bold, Wear the Blue, Earn the Gold" is the theme for this year's annual convention, which is expected to attract more than 8,500 students and guests to the Hearnes Center on the University of Missouri campus.
According to Terry Heiman, state FFA advisor, the state association will present Missouri FFA degrees to 752 members. This is the largest number of state degrees to ever be presented by the Missouri FFA. The State Star Farmer, the State Star in Agribusiness and the State Star in Placement also will be named.
Members will receive awards in various agricultural proficiency areas including: communications, dairy production and food science; career development events, including agricultural sales, floriculture, horse judging and speaking competitions; and other organizational program areas.
The Missouri FFA also will present awards to several adults and groups for their support of agricultural education and FFA. This year 23 Honorary State FFA degrees will be presented.
The Missouri FFA Association will honor Charlie Kruse with the Distinguished Service Citation. Kruse served as Missouri Farm Bureau Federation president from 1992 to 2010 and was Missouri director of agriculture from 1985 to 1991.
During the two-day event, State FFA President Jon Black, a member of the Chillicothe FFA Chapter, will lead 652 delegates, two from each chapter, in official business sessions.
The convention's keynote speaker, Selena Freeman, is a youth pastor and was a 1993 Missouri FFA officer.
This year's National FFA officer address will be given by National FFA Eastern Region Vice President Tiffany Rogers, of Niles, Mich. Rogers was elected as a national officer in October at the national convention in Indianapolis.
The Missouri FFA Association has 25,077 members, the largest-ever Missouri membership.