INDIANAPOLIS –The 83rd National FFA Convention concluded Oct. 23 on a high note: The organization set an all-time event attendance record with a total crowd of 54,942 members, advisors, sponsors and guests.
The organization also recognized the service of and bid farewell to its longtime national FFA adviser, Dr. Larry D. Case, who will retire Jan. 1, 2011.
“It’s only fitting that we should set our all-time convention attendance record at Dr. Case’s 26th and final convention,” said National FFA Chief Operating Officer Dwight Armstrong. “It’s clear that a substantial number of chapters around the country made the trip to celebrate with him before he retires.”
Noblest of professions
During his onstage recognition, Case introduced his wife of 44 years, Joy, and their children and grandchildren. He addressed the crowd of FFA members and delegates and referenced the fact that there are several educators in his family.
“When I say agricultural education is the noblest of professions and is important to me, I mean that,” said Case. “If it’s good enough for my family, it’s good enough for you.”
Case wrapped up his onstage comments by assuring FFA members that they are in good hands. “I believe in you,” he said, “and I shall never forget you.”
Case began his FFA career as a member of the Stet, Mo., chapter where he served as both reporter and president. He credits his adviser as pushing him to pursue service in his adult life.
“My adviser saw something in me,” said Case. “He saw that I had potential, unlimited potential. I didn’t know any better, so I took him seriously.”
Case has served as national FFA adviser since 1984. During his tenure, FFA membership has grown significantly and agricultural education has changed dramatically. He has shaken hands with hundreds of thousands of members as they receive awards and raised the roof at 26 national FFA conventions.
At many points during the 83rd National FFA Convention, Dr. Case has been honored for his long-term commitment to the organization and members. His annual welcome during the opening sessions gave him the opportunity to take pause and offer thanks and reflection.
“FFA members, you are the future and you make this Missouri farm boy proud.”
After his retirement was announced, the National FFA Organization and Foundation came together to honor Dr. Case, and the result was the Larry D. and Joy L. Case Endowment.
Case chose three areas that have been important to him to benefit from the endowment: agricultural instructor training, student leader development and global agriculture career opportunities. As of Oct. 22, $63,500 has been raised for the Case Endowment principal.
Individuals interested in contributing to the fund can text “FFAowl” to 20222 form any cell phone and $10 will be donated to the pot of development dollars.