Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology will host more than 5,000 students and educators as part of the 87th California State Future Farmers of America (FFA) Leadership Conference from Saturday-Tuesday, April 18-21.

At Saturday’s Career Development and Field Day, Fresno State students, faculty and volunteers will administer more than 30 contests between 8 a.m.-3 p.m. All contests will be held on campus and will include dairy, fruit tree, equine, livestock, poultry, farm power, machinery and small engine judging and demonstrations.

After the competitions, an awards ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday in Valdez Hall at the Fresno Convention Center. The conference’s opening session follows at 8 p.m. at Selland Arena, and the pep rally features a keynote from comedy magicians David Blatter and Leeman Parker.

On Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., about 100 Fresno State students will host workshops, tours of the 1,000-acre University Agricultural Laboratory and career development events that challenge students’ industry knowledge.

“Countless hours go into making the conference run smoothly,” said Charmayne Hefley, president of the organizing committee. “I am grateful to my fellow Fresno State students who are giving back to their community and making sure thousands of FFA members feel at home during their stay in Fresno.”

Dr. Steven Rocca, professor of agricultural education at Fresno State, said the conference highlights the achievements of more than 70,000 California FFA members.

“By helping coordinate this event, Fresno State students get the opportunity to inspire FFA students to pursue their passions in agriculture through a variety of opportunities that encourage them to explore their own capabilities,” Rocca said.

On Friday, candidates for FFA student officer positions in 2015-16 will be welcomed by Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro at a private reception and dinner in the University House. On Tuesday, elected officials will be honored at a special lunch hosted by Jordan College Interim Dean Sandra Witte in the Smittcamp Alumni House.

Featuring the theme “Reach Out,” this year’s conference will unite students and educators from more than 300 high schools to participate in workshops, motivational leadership sessions and a career expo to provide networking opportunities.

The California FFA Association, founded in 1928, helps California high school students develop their potential for leadership, personal growth and career success through vocational agricultural education.

For more information, visit or, or contact Sarena Silva at or 559.967.0812.


Saturday, April 18

  • 8 a.m.-3 p.m.: FFA contests at Fresno State
  • 4 p.m.: Awards ceremony at Valdez Hall (downtown Fresno)
  • 8 p.m.: Conference opening session at Selland Arena (downtown Fresno)

Sunday, April 19

  •  11 a.m.: Educational workshops at Fresno State
  • 3:45-5:45 p.m.: Third general session at Selland Arena
  • 8 p.m.-10:30 p.m.: Fourth general session at Selland Arena

Monday, April 20

  • 8:30-11:20 a.m.: Fifth general session at Selland Arena
  • 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.: Agriculture Career Show and Expo, Agriscience Fair at Fresno Expo Center
  • 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m.: Dustin Lynch concert at Selland Arena

Tuesday, April 21

  •  8:30-11:45 a.m.: Closing ceremony at Selland Arena