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Bills in high denominations

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INDIANAPOLIS–The 96th Annual FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis is supposed to bring in nearly $40 million in revenue to Indianapolis, according to Visit Indy.

The organization is having “record membership”, according to the FFA’s National President Molly Ball. She says there have been nearly 946,000 participants across more than 9,100 chapters, which is an increase of 11% year-over-year.

“Our footprint is huge and then we have programs for students that can sign up for days of service. So they’ll go into local nonprofits and serve in those local nonprofits all over the city to give back in a way and it also launches their own thoughts on a service project,” said Ball in an interview with Gerry Dick on Inside Indiana Business.

She says the students will also have the opportunity to visit companies like Beck’s Hybrids, Corteva Agriscience, and Fair Oaks Farms to learn more about the science and business of agriculture.

Ball says teachers are doing what’s called affiliate memberships.

“So all students in their classroom can be part of FAA if they pay one flat fee. That’s what more and more states are doing. We want all students in agricultural education to be part of FFA. So they’re enrolling more and more students as they become bigger and bigger in the classrooms. So that’s where we’re seeing the spike in students.”

There were a little more than 69,000 people in attendance of last year’s convention. Ball thinks they can surpass 70,000 this time.

The National FFA Convention will stay in Indianapolis through at least 2033. This year’s convention runs through Saturday November 4.