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FFA Convention to bring $40 million in economic impact and volunteer work

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The FFA Convention is in the Circle City this week and it's expected to bring in millions of dollars in economic impact, as well as thousands of hours of volunteer work.

About 65,000 students and teachers are packing downtown Indy this week and through the weekend. The FFA is the 4th largest convention in terms of economic impact for Indianapolis.

After switching to another city for a few years, FFA came back to Indianapolis last year and they're slated to stay in the Circle City through 2025.

The sea of blue jackets representing student members of FFA can be seen all throughout central Indiana this week and throughout the weekend.

"We're in the Indiana Convention Center, at the state fairgrounds, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil, so we're all over," said Kristy Meyer, communications manager for National FFA.

Students represent all 50 states. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also sent students to the convention this year.

Inside the convention center halls, students get a hands-on approach to learning about careers in agriculture. More than 200 interactive booths are set up.

The FFA members, their teachers, and families are filling up 120 hotels. Visit Indy said the hotels downtown and around 465 booked up within 15 minutes.

Some members have to stay as far away as Lafayette and Bloomington.

Chris Gahl, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Visit Indy, said the organization is studying hotel space downtown. He said they want to stay competitive in the market of hosting conventions so they can continue to accommodate large groups like FFA for years to come.

From hotels and restaurants, to shopping, and events, the students aren't only giving in terms of cash and spending to help out the city, they're also volunteering. 2,000 students will dedicate 6,000 hours of community service to Indy parks and outreach programs.

"Whether it's City Market, or White River State Park or Gleaners, they're just taking the opportunity to give back to the community and then take those skills to their community," Meyer said.

For more on the FFA convention, click here.