87th annual California State FFA Conference held in Downtown Fresno

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Future Farmers of America teams filled the convention center in Downtown Fresno on Friday, ready to compete head-to-head at the annual state conference. (KFSN)

The Future Farmers of America are taking over Downtown Fresno. Students from across California are in town for their annual conference.
Future Farmers of America teams from all corners of California filled the convention center in Downtown Fresno on Friday, ready to compete head-to-head at the annual state conference.

"This is honestly such a surreal experience. I've been a member of the team since my freshman year, and to make it to this level and to see all of our hard work kind of starting to come together has just been an awesome opportunity," said Sienna Pillsbury, a member of the O'Neals-Minarets FFA team.

The students practiced leading up to their competition over parliamentary procedure. More than 6,000 are a part of this year's festivities, making it the largest conference to date.

Organizers say Ag education continues to play an important role in schools. They hope to open up the doors to the next generation of Ag professionals.

"The technology they're using, using drones to determine how much water or fertilizer they need. We need students not only that can design that equipment, but that can do the research to find out how to grow these crops with less water, which is obviously a challenge we face every day," said Hugh Mooney with California Agriculture Education.

As for FFA students, they say they're excited about the future opportunities and are already learning important lessons at a young age.

"It helps you to run a meeting and to act in a professional manner when speaking in front of crowds, which is something that I can take into the rest of my life," said Pillsbury. "But also just the friendships that are formed through this contest and through the organization are ones I never would have been able to find anywhere else."

Some of the winners from the competition there will head to nationals in Louisville in October.

The 87th annual California State FFA Conference wraps up on Tuesday.

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