As you prepare to go to Indianapolis next week for the 84th National FFA Convention, I hope that these reminders will help you and your chapter.
Medical Authorization forms: If you don’t already, I encourage you to have some sort of medical authorization form completed and with you for every student that you take to Indy. In case something happens, you will have some information to make a bad situation more manageable. If your school does not have a general medical release/parental consent form, there is a form attached to this email. National FFA has announced that medical personnel in Indy will not treat minors without signed parental consent. Attached is a parental consent form that will allow a medical professional to care for your student should the need arise. Please make sure to bring a signed form for each student just in case!
Parking: If you have pre-ordered a parking pass from the national FFA, then you will have a specific lot to park in Indy. If you have not pre-ordered a pass, there will be some pay lots available downtown. Keep in mind that buses will have specific places to park aside from the general lots.
State Block Hotel: If you booked rooms in the Georgia state hotel block at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre, your lodging reservations have been made. Your rooms at the hotel are registered in the names that you submitted to our office. You will not need a confirmation number and you will not be expected to provide payment at the hotel. You may however be asked to put down a credit card for incidental charges (phone calls, etc…) The Sheraton is located in downtown Indianapolis. There is a parking garage at the Sheraton that will accept cars, trucks and mini-vans. The entrance into the lot is 6’5”. Any larger vehicle (i.e. 15 passenger vans, school or charter bus) will need to park in an open lot. The daily fee for parking in the Sheraton parking garage is $25.The Sheraton does not have an exclusive shuttle from the airport. Some options that I feel comfortable recommending to you include IndyGo Green Line; Cary Limo service; and 5-Star Limo service. I have used all three and they are easy and affordable. The Sheraton does not have free continental breakfast, but the hotel restaurant does offer a $12 breakfast buffet and they do have a Starbucks in the lobby.
There will be a handful of state staff members lodging at the Sheraton should you need assistance. Please feel free to contact any of the following: Stan Mitchell (706) 338-7230; Sidney Bell (706) 612-4789; Jerry Taylor (706) 338-7703, or Hope Carter (478) 697-9838. Contact information for the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre is:
31 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 635-2000
Convention Registration: If you have not registered for the Convention already, then you will have to do that on-site in Indy. Everyone must register for the convention, including award winners, CDE competitors, chaperones, etc. If you have students competing in a CDE, a Proficiency Finalist, or an American Degree recipient, they must be registered for the convention. Convention Registration is located in the Indianapolis Convention Center at the corner of Maryland Street and Capitol Street. Onsite registration will cost $70 per person.
State Picture: There will be a state Association picture taken on Friday, Oct. 21, at 11:00 a.m. State photos are in a new location this year!!! State photos will be taken in the new portion of the Indiana Convention Center (ICC), Hall C (in back of the FFA shopping mall.) All Georgia FFA chapters, advisors, chaperones, etc… are invited to come be in the picture. There will be order forms available on-site for you to place orders for copies of the state picture. Please arrive by 10:45 a.m.
Georgia FFA Suite: All Georgia FFA advisors, chapters, alumni and guests attending the National FFA Convention are welcome and encouraged to stop by the Georgia FFA Suite #36 in Conseco Fieldhouse on Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday. The state FFA officer team and various staff members will be in the Suite before and after each session. Additionally, the suite is used to host sponsors and VIPs from Georgia attending the convention. If your chapter is planning to bring an administrator to the Convention, please bring them by. Seating is limited and Conseco security does monitor the limited number allowed in the suites. However, it is a great place to hang out for a few minutes. Stop by and see us!
CDE participation: If you have a student or team(s) competing in a CDE, please be sure that you have copies of all necessary correspondence before you leave for Indy. If you need to change a member of your team, you will have to complete the Add/Delete process online by Tuesday, October 19. There will not be an onsite Add/Delete process as there has been in the past. There is one CDE registration office in the Marriott hotel downtown, and one located at the Indiana Fairgrounds. Please be sure that you are clear on the times, locations, etc…of your event, as well as the coaches meetings, pictures, award dinners, etc.
Award Winners/Recognition: If you have student(s) going across stage to be recognized, they will have reserved seating for those students during the appropriate session. There will be a tag on the seat with the award area and/or chapter/student name. Please be sure that you have your student(s) arrive early if they are planning to go across stage so that they find their appropriate seat. Please be sure that any student going on stage is in complete and proper official FFA dress!
Downtown Curfew: Indianapolis has an 11 p.m. curfew for minors under 18, and Circle Centre Mall has a 9 p.m. curfew on weeknights. FFA members attending the convention will be exempt from this curfew, but only if they can be easily identified and are behaving appropriately. Please note: This does not allow members free run of the city at night. For recognition, safety and security, please instruct attendees to wear convention badges at all times – not just when attending sessions or the career show. These badges will help Indianapolis volunteers identify convention attendees should they need directions to convention events.
Facilities: The convention will utilize several facilities in downtown Indianapolis.
· The Indiana Convention Center (ICC) will be home to registration, state/chapter photos, the Agriscience Fair, several CDEs the career show and convention shopping mall. The construction on the ICC has been complete and the new portion is open for this year’s convention.
· Lucas Oil Stadium (football stadium) will be home to the food court, concert, and American Degree ceremony.
· Conseco Fieldhouse is where 8 of the 9 convention sessions happen; the only exception being the American Degree session (#8) on Saturday morning.
· Indiana State Fairgrounds will host many CDEs.
Finally, many of the downtown hotels will be utilized for CDEs, proficiency interviews, and meal functions.
Weather: Expect highs in the low 60s and lows down in the 40s for the week. Currently the forecast calls for rain early in the week. Please encourage your students to pack accordingly.
Finally, please know that while in Indianapolis, if you have any problems at all, or need any assistance, you can feel free to contact either me or Mr. Chip Bridges (state FFA advisor). We will do whatever we can to help. If you need to reach us during the next week, please use the numbers listed below:
Chip Bridges: (706) 410-4605
Ben Lastly: (706) 410-4604
Thanks, and have a safe trip to Indianapolis!
Georgia FFA Association
316 Poultry Science - UGA
Athens, GA 30602
Phone: (706) 552-4456
Fax: (706) 552-4458