Thousands of High School students from across Oklahoma are in Tulsa today for the State FFA convention.
It's the first time in the program's 96-year history the convention hasn't been held in Oklahoma City. Students from more than 300 FFA chapters across the state gathered in the BOK center for the first day of the state convention. The program started off with a performance from the choir and a motivational speaker.
The arena was filled with thousands of smiles, lots of laughs, and cheers as many reunited with other FFA students from across the state.
"It felt like people weren't as connected last year with the masks and having to social distance, but I feel like this year it’s more connected and people being able to talk more and be together more," said Shae Bellamy.
Pawhuska Junior Shae Bellamy has been to the state Convention before, but she says this year is different. Usually, the event is held at the Cox Center in Oklahoma City, but changes in ownership there forced FFA to find a new home.
"It's very exciting, especially since it's the first and I get to be a part of that,” said Bellamy.
Stigler Sophomore Parker McClary, says he's happy the two-day convention is in Tulsa this year since it's a lot closer to home.
“It's more convenient and I feel more at home in Tulsa than I did in Oklahoma City,” said McClary.
Students like, Pawnee Senior Erica Wells-Kleman, say the location doesn't make a big difference as far as the atmosphere.
“Still the same. still upbeat, everyone is so nice,” said Pawnee Senior Erica Wells-Kleman. “Even if you have chapter rivals, which there definitely are, it’s still so nice to see people that you don't get to see a lot.”
Those going to the convention for the first time, say they're just happy to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Fargo FFA Member Federico Polacco is a foreign exchange student from Italy and says he's excited to learn more about one of Oklahoma's biggest industries.
"Where I am from agriculture is not the main stuff in my life and here I found a new passion,” said Federico Polacco.
Convention will be held in Tulsa again next year.