BOZEMAN — Montana FFA’s 8th Annual John Deere Ag Expo is taking place at Montana State University this week.
And FFA students from across the state of Montana have taken over campus since Thursday.
“It’s honestly unbelievable seeing people from every nook and cranny of Montana and all the small towns represented here today,” said Kaydeeanne Teselle, a volunteer judge at the event.
Middle school and high school FFA students are attending the expo with hopes of developing leadership skills and gaining experience in everything from public speaking to livestock evaluation and veterinary science.
“We have 23 different contest going on here,” said Gwynn Simeniuk, executive director at the Montana FFA Foundation.
“And what’s so great about the John Deere Expo is that we have a lot of contests that don’t require students to qualify, they can just come here and participate.”
The John Deere Ag Expo is the largest Montana FFA event of the year.
This year there’s about 1600 kids representing 99 chapters from across the state of Montana.
Mamie Hertel is the newly elected National FFA Central Region Vice President, a huge accomplishment for the national organization that has over 700,000 members.
She said the John Deere Ag Expo is a big reason why she holds a leadership position today.
“So I started off in FFA as a 7th grader creed speaking which I was just actually helping out with here at John Deere Ag expo day. And that just kinda kick started my love for FFA,” said Hertel.
“I think it just shows how powerful of an organization it really is and how many people really truly care and love their blue jacket,” said Teselle.
The events end Saturday with an awards ceremony at 2 p.m.