About 3,000 FFA students from Missouri and Kansas are expected to converge on the 52nd Annual Western Farm Show being held Feb. 22-24, 2013, at the American Royal Complex in Kansas City, Mo., to help fight hunger and further their agricultural education.
The Missouri and Kansas FFA Associations are partnering once again with the Western Farm Show to help build awareness about food insecurity, supporting the National FFA initiative of "Feeding the World, Starting at Home." During the show, both associations will be participating in what has become known as the annual Missouri-Kansas "Border War" Food Drive.
Chapter members are encouraged to bring canned and nonperishable food items on FFA Day, Friday, Feb. 22 – coinciding with the 2013 National FFA Week – for donation to Harvesters Community Food Network. In addition to "bragging rights" for the state association that collects the most items, a $500 prize is at stake for the individual chapter that brings in the highest total.
Based in Kansas City, Mo., Harvesters is a clearinghouse for the collection and distribution of food and related household products. Its network includes more than 620 non-profit agencies throughout its 26-county direct service area in western Missouri and eastern Kansas, including emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, children's homes, homes for the mentally disabled and shelters for battered persons. This network provides food assistance to as many as 66,000 different people each week.
FFA members will hear from their respective state associations about their initiatives relating to local food insecurity and advocacy for agriculture. "Awareness of agriculture and hunger is important to the future of our nation," explained Keith Dietzschold, Executive Secretary of the Missouri FFA Association. "The Missouri and Kansas FFA Associations want to provide their members with information at the Western Farm Show they can take home and use locally in their agricultural education programs."
Besides raising hunger awareness, participation in the Western Farm Show offers valuable educational and career information for FFA members. "For many of the FFA attendees, the Western Farm Show is also the only industry event they have the opportunity to attend to see, learn and visit with our exhibitors about the latest trends, products and services within the agricultural industry," noted Cory Hayes, Director of Education for the SouthWestern Association, the show producer.
In particular, students and advisors are encouraged to visit the Oklahoma State University booth to learn about the Equipment Technician Training Program offered by the OSU Institute of Technology for students looking to earn a degree in equipment maintenance and repair.
To receive free admission to the show on FFA Day, Friday, Feb. 22, Missouri and Kansas FFA chapter advisors can visit the Westerm Farm Show website to fill out and submit a ticket request form online.
The Western Farm Show ranks as one of the largest indoor displays of farm equipment and new agricultural technologies in the Midwest, showcasing more than 500 exhibitors under one roof at the American Royal Complex. Highlights also include the Health & Safety Roundup Area, the Family Living Center and livestock demonstrations sponsored by MFA, Inc. The show's highly popular Championship Tractor Pull, featuring more than 150 top drivers and machines from 15 states, will be held Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 21-23, 2013, at Kemper Arena, which is a short walk from the American Royal.
Western Farm Show hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22; from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23; and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24. Adult admission is $8 and free for children 12 and under.
Source: Western Farm Show