Alaska FFA convention set in Palmer

Time: Various times
Location: Matanuska Experiment Farm in Palmer and Mat-Su College

Some 150 FFA members will gather in Palmer April 18-21 for the Alaska FFA State Convention.

The 41st annual event will take place at the Matanuska Experiment Farm and at Mat-Su College. Middle and high school students will compete in a series of activities aimed at improving their career and leadership skills. Topics will include public speaking, job interviews, marine technology, agricultural mechanics, parliamentary procedure, floriculture, environmental and natural resources, veterinary medicine and agricultural issues.

FFA state advisor Kevin Fochs said, “Hopefully students are learning life skills that prepare them for future careers in agriculture.”

Participants will also tour the Plant Materials Center near Palmer and two area farms, VanderWeele Farm and Havemeister Dairy, and work on several community service projects. Guest speakers will include Bernie Karl, the owner of Chena Hot Springs Resort, and former state Sen. Bill Stoltze.

The National FFA Organization, formerly called Future Farmers of America, has broadened its mission to reflect new opportunities in agriculture. The youth organization has a growing presence in Alaska, with 280 members in 15 chapters in Fairbanks, North Pole, Delta Junction, Palmer, Anchorage, Ninilchik, Hope, Soldotna, Kenai, Kake and Kodiak, and several groups of homeschooled students.

Fochs joined the Alaska FFA organization in 2014 after 32 years as a high school agriculture teacher in Montana. Since then, the number of chapters has grown from six to 15. FFA is affiliated with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. For more information, contact Fochs at or at 907-746-9499.