In just a matter of hours, 3,300 teenagers from throughout Georgia will show up in Macon, swarming in by bus, van and even car. But this swarm will be nothing like the city's onslaught of cicadas currently leaving their shells on everything they can climb. These teens are some of the finest students in the state, representing 285 chapters of Georgia Future Farmers of America, who will be in town to learn, work and be recognized at their annual convention April 28-30.

Dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of young people by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education, Georgia Future Farmers of America is celebrating its fifth year in Macon this week. According to the Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the three-day conference means 1,011 room nights and estimated expenditures by these students, advisors and sponsors of $315,588 in our city.

National FFA Executive Secretary Ben Lastly said the convention gives Georgia FFA members the opportunity to be rewarded for their efforts throughout the year as awards in several categories from science to education are presented throughout the convention. "Students from all over the state of Georgia compete year round to be recognized at this end of the year celebration," he said. The meeting's theme this year is "Infinite Potential."

As part of their experience each year, these future farmers provide community service in the host city and this year is no different. There might be bugshells on the bushes, but there will be future farmers on the ladders at three downtown area homes selected by Rebuilding Macon for the teens to help paint. They also will volunteer at the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank while here.

Lastly said the decision to move the convention to Macon five years ago was an easy choice because of its central location and ample meeting space. "Hosting the convention here provides the potential for growth and it is easily accessible to our 285 chapters," he commented.

Founded in 1929, the Georgia Future Farmers of America is the 3rd largest state FFA association in the nation with over 30,000 members. For more GA FFA convention information visit