As you prepare to go to Indianapolis next week for the 90th 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 Indianapolis. In case something happens, you will have some information that might 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.

State Block Hotel: If you booked rooms in the Georgia state hotel block, your lodging reservations have been made. Some of you have reservations at the Marriott downtown and some of you have reservations at the JW Marriott downtown. The invoice that you received from Mrs. Martha White for the balance due listed the hotel (Marriott or JW Marriott) where your chapter has reservations. 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…) Both the Marriott and JW Marriott are located in downtown Indianapolis. These two hotels are 1 block apart, so anyone sharing transportation can make one stop to unload for both hotels.

There will be a handful of state staff members lodging at the JW Marriott should you need assistance. Please feel free to contact any of the following: Todd Teasley, Josh Allen, Kent Benson, Barry Norris or Stan Mitchell. Contact information for the Marriott and JW Marriott is below.

JW Marriott
10 S. West Street
Indianapolis, IN
(317) 860-5800

Marriott Downtown
350 W. Maryland Street
Indianapolis, IN
(317) 822-3500

Convention Registration: If you have not registered for the Convention already, then you will have to do that on-site in Indianapolis. 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 Indiana Center (ICC) where the trade show, Agriscience Fair, workshops and various other convention events will take place. This year tickets for ticketed events (rodeo, concert, etc…) along with parking passes were mailed to teachers prior to Convention. However, you will not receive buttons or convention credentials in the mail this year. All of convention pre-registration completed online is being processed into name badges for each name that you submitted through your online registration. You should have received email confirmation stating when and where to pick-up your pre-registered name badges in the ICC. Anyone who did not complete pre-registration online will have to complete onsite registration. Onsite registration will cost $80 per person.

State Picture: Our state photo time has changed this year! Rather than Friday noon, our photo is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 26, at 9:15 a.m. All Georgia students, teachers, parents, Alumni and guests are encouraged to attend the state photo. State photos will be taken in the Indiana Convention Center (ICC) Hall A, adjacent to the Agriscience Fair. There will be order forms available on-site for you to place orders for copies of the state picture. Please arrive by 9:00 a.m. Chapter photos can also be taken at the photo booth.

American Degree Reception
This year the Georgia FFA is hosting a reception for our American FFA Degree recipients as well as their families and ag teachers. The American Degree ceremony will begin at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday. This year the ceremony will begin with the state of Alabama and work through the alphabet by state. When the Georgia students come off stage in Lucas Oil Stadium, we are asking them to immediately come across the street to the ICC-Room 130-131 for the Georgia reception. The reception will be open around 10:00 a.m. We will provide refreshments and get a group photo of the Georgia recipients who come to Indy to receive their degree. Each American Degree recipient received a letter from me inviting them to the reception. Please remind your students about the reception, and please stop by on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. (immediately following the Georgia recognition in the American Degree ceremony).

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 #38 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday. The state FFA officer team and various staff members will be in the Suite before, during 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 or special guests to the Convention, please bring them by Suite 38. Seating is very limited, and Banker’s Life Fieldhouse security does monitor the limited number allowed in the suites. However, it is a great place to hang out for a few minutes. So please 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 Indianapolis. All CDE waivers have been submitted to National FFA, so your students are set to compete. 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. Attached is a master CDE schedule. Also, please be sure that you have registered all CDE contestants for the Convention. Our office completed your CDE certification, but we did not register you for the convention.

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!

Facilities: The convention will utilize several facilities in downtown Indianapolis.

• Indiana Convention Center (ICC) will be home to registration, state/chapter photos, the Agriscience Fair, several CDEs, the career show, convention shopping mall and food court.  
• Bankers Life Fieldhouse will be home to all Convention sessions except session 8 (American Degree ceremony).
• The ICC will host proficiency award interviews and the National Chapter Award Models of Innovation and Outstanding Middle School interviews. The ICC is located in downtown Indianapolis.
• Lucas Oil Stadium will host the American Degree ceremony (session 8), as well as the convention concerts and is located in downtown Indianapolis.
• Indiana State Fairgrounds will be host to some National FFA CDEs through the week.

Finally, a few of the downtown hotels will be utilized for CDEs and meal functions.

Hall of States: The Wayne County FFA chapter will represent Georgia in the Hall of States exhibit. I encourage everyone to stop by to support Wayne County and see the Georgia display in the Hall of States.

Weather: Expect highs in the mid-60s and lows down in the 40s for the week. Currently the forecast calls a chance of rain a couple of days next 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 our staff. Mr. Chip Bridges, Mr. Ira Tucker, Mr. Chris Corzine, Mr. Stan Mitchell and I will be in Indianapolis, and available if you need help. 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
Stan Mitchell: (706) 338-7230
Chris Corzine: (864) 844-4412
Ira Tucker:  (229) 424-2789

Thanks, and have a safe trip to Indianapolis.

Ben Lastly
Executive Secretary
Georgia FFA Association
316 Poultry Science – UGA
Athens, GA 30602
Office Phone: (706) 552-4456
Mobile Phone: (706) 410-4604
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