INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The National FFA Organization will hold its national convention in October virtually instead of meeting in Indianapolis because of the coronavirus outbreak, the group announced Friday.
The decision to make the event virtual is due “to the many challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Indianapolis-based FFA said.
The convention that features keynote speakers, concerts, and workshops was slated to occur Oct. 28-31.
Last year, the FFA brought more than 68,000 people, mostly high school students, to Indianapolis with an economic impact of $38 million, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.
FFA CEO Mark Poeschl said the organization’s board of directors decided this week to halt planning for an in-person event and instead focus on online programming.
The decision to go virtual this year came after consulting school administrators and instructors, attendees and sponsors, Poeschl said.
“As we continued to plan for our national convention, it became clear that travel restrictions and public health concerns, among many other pandemic-related challenges, made hosting our in-person event impossible in 2020,” he said.
Speakers to the convention in recent years have included President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.