President Donald Trump plans to speak at the FFA’s national convention on Saturday in Indianapolis, FFA chief executive Mark Poeschl confirmed to IBJ on Tuesday afternoon.
The annual event, which starts Wednesday, is expected to bring about 70,000 blue-jacket-wearing attendees from across the country to downtown Indianapolis to learn about science and agriculture.
Trump is expected to speak for 20 to 30 minutes at a session filled with FFA members, state staff members and parents on Saturday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Poeschl said the organization, which used to be known as Future Farmers of America, invites the president every year to the national convention. The last time a president attended was 1991, when George H.W. Bush spoke at the event in Kansas City. Before that, Jimmy Carter attended in 1978, also in Kansas City.
“We’re, of course, honored to have the president,” Poeschl said. “But we remain an organization that does not choose sides, and we’re completely non-partisan.”
Poeschl said the national convention is usually an experience of a lifetime for FFA students, but the president’s visit could make it have an even bigger impact.
“What’s to say we don’t have a future president in the audience that day,” Poeschl said.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will also be at the convention on Saturday, but Poeschl said that visit had been planned for awhile.
Trump will not be doing any political events in Indiana during this trip, but sources say the president will likely be back for a rally before the general election in November.
In late August, Trump visited Evansville to rally for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike Braun, who is running against Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly in a hotly contested race.