National FFA Members Head to Nation’s Capital for Washington Leadership Conference


Students will focus on civic engagement, leadership development, and community impact

For more than 50 years, thousands of FFA members from across the country have converged in our nation’s capital each summer to engage with legislators, hone civic engagement and leadership skills, and create community impact projects to take back to their cities and towns. 

The National FFA Organization’s Washington Leadership Conference (WLC) will take place from June 4-July 20 at the Omni Shoreham, with six, week-long sessions for FFA members to choose from. More than 1,700 FFA members from across the country are expected to attend the 2024 conference, the second-largest student experience that the National FFA Organization hosts each year, only behind the National FFA Convention & Expo which draws more than 70,000 attendees. 

FFA members will spend the week under the guidance of agricultural and leadership professionals, facilitators, and FFA staff who will guide them through workshops, seminars, and small group activities, with the goal of leaving feeling equipped and empowered to impact their local communities and beyond. Students will also visit national landmarks such as the National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery, Smithsonian Museums, and the U.S. Capitol. Each day of the conference focuses on a different principle taught through the context of our nation’s capital: exploration, encouragement, advocacy and service. 

FFA members will have the unique opportunity to advocate for agriculture through congressional visits during the week with legislators from their states. Members can share concerns and challenges from their communities, as well as discuss agricultural-related legislation and opportunities they see based on their own unique perspectives. 

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The capstone of the conference is the development of a Living to Serve Plan, a civic engagement project that participants will implement in their communities after returning home. 

To develop this Living to Serve Plan, members are asked to analyze the needs of their communities before attending WLC. Students can lean on their FFA chapter advisors to implement the plan upon returning home. Examples of projects in recent years include promoting agricultural literacy, collecting and distributing shoes to individuals in Haiti, and creating a hunger awareness plan. 


CALIFORNIA – Patrick Palmer of the Clovis FFA Chapter was inspired by WLC to create Agriculture on Wheels, where he travels to Fresno-area elementary schools and teaches science lessons related to the students’ current subject matter. Palmer’s lessons are designed to be fun, hands-on and engaging.

FLORIDA – After Hope Storter of the Strawberry Crest FFA Chapter in Hillsborough County attended WLC, she was driven to educate young people in her community about agriculture. She started an interactive program at a local elementary school, teaching monthly lessons on different topics in agriculture and equipping them to start their own home produce garden. 

MICHIGAN – Karlie Goble of Michigan FFA designed her Living to Serve plan centered around educating young minds in her community about the Power and Structural Systems pathway of agricultural education, including welding and industrial trades. 


The 2024 Washington Leadership Conference is sponsored by Farm Credit, Growth Energy, Rabo AgriFinance and Syngenta.  

***Courtesy of the National FFA Organization***

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