The “blue coats” of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) have invaded Central Indiana this week for the National FFA Convention held in downtown Indianapolis through Saturday, Nov. 4. Several activities have taken place for the students who are visiting from all states, including Alaska and Puerto Rico, as they learn about different aspects of agriculture. One avenue of learning has brought them to Harrah’s Hoosier Park during the Thursday, Nov. 2 racing program.
Several students enjoyed a tour of the grandstand and barn area. A group from Illinois stopped outside the paddock with hosts Emily Gaskin and Jacob Rheinheimer of race marketing. There, they caught up with 10-Time Leading Driver Trace Tetrick, who was once in FFA himself while growing up in rural Illinois. Tetrick explained the basics of being a driver and answered questions from the group.
Several students also visited Horseshoe Indianapolis earlier in the day as part of the National FFA Career Success Tours, giving students the opportunity to learn about different aspects of raising and racing Standardbreds in the state.
The Standardbred industry is also well represented in the educational part of the week at the Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. Several entities in harness racing came together to provide an interactive booth featuring the ever popular Virtual Reality experience. Students can put on a pair of goggles that simulates driving a horse. The display is complete with a race bike. The booth also has information about the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and hands on stations, such as learning to wrap a leg of a horse.
The National FFA Convention always plays host to a headline entertainment act. The red hot country performer Lainey Wilson was in concert Wednesday. The convention also includes a rodeo, hypnotist show, and other entertainment activities during the stay in Indiana.