California Ag secretary welcomes thousands of students at FFA State Conference

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The Future Farmers of America mixed fun with their leadership development programs, and over 6,000 young people are in Fresno for the FFA State Conference. (KFSN)

California Food and Ag secretary Karen Ross was pleased by the sight of thousands of students attending this week's Future Farmers of America leadership conference in Fresno.

The Future Farmers of America mixed fun with their leadership development programs, and over 6,000 young people are in Fresno for the FFA State Conference.

Ross says many of them don't come from farming families.

"Some of the fastest growing chapters here and across the country are actually in urban centers which just shows this renewed interest," she said.

FFA members took in information sessions and had a chance to look into future careers. So, many kids are here and both convention centers downtown are being used. But this gathering isn't just about farming.

"Myself, as well as every member here, sees themselves grow not only in leadership but maturity as well," student Cori Hancock said.

Secretary Ross also spent time on the Fresno State campus to visit the Jordan Ag Research Center and talk with students. Ross is encouraged by the growth she has seen among young people interested in growing food.

"I am most excited that all of our colleges of agriculture throughout the system in California are bursting at the seams and people are surprised about that," she said.

And as far as the enthusiasm shown by the FFA students, Ross wishes she could bottle it.

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