Every year, more than 54,000 youth travel to Indianapolis, Ind., for the annual National FFA Convention & Expo. This week, a team of TransCanada employees are hosting a TransCanada booth from Oct. 24-27 at the 2012 event — the largest annual gathering of students in the U.S.
The National FFA Organization is a youth leadership organization that aims to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Over the years, TransCanada has become a good neighbor to more than 60,000 landowners, so we want to support our neighbors and help build safe and vibrant communities — and one way to do that is through our support for FFA.
Our five-year partnership with FFA began in 2011, with one aspect of our partnership being our participation in the Expo.
Jeanette Dame, a corporate social responsibility advisor at TransCanada who is at the event, says, “We love supporting and attending the FFA Expo as we get to chat with youth who are really interested in their community and their land. We’ve had hundreds of students come by our booth asking us great questions about our pipelines and our involvement in renewable energy — like hydro, nuclear, solar and wind. There is so much excitement, energy and learning taking place here.”
Our booth this year includes a wide range of opportunities to connect with youth — from an interactive photo zone to a Twitter contest to sharing educational safety messages.
At the Share Your Energy! photo zone, the students choose a digital background, pose in front of a greenscreen with fun props and receive the photo by e-mail, which can be shared through social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
TransCanada employees particularly enjoy this part of the booth, even taking a couple of “practice” shots with the team.
Students who receive the photo by e-mail are encouraged to click on a contest link, where they can enter to win one of five $1,000 donations from TransCanada to their favorite FFA chapter. Anyone 13 years old or older can enter, but having a favorite FFA chapter is a must.
Drew, an FFA member from Iowa who stopped by the photo zone to get his photo taken, says his chapter is big into fundraising. He says if he wins the $1,000 donation for his chapter, he will want the donation to go towards buying supplies for the non-profit organization his chapter supports – Meals from the Heartland.
The TransCanada booth also features two charging stations for youth who have drained the batteries on their mobile devices and need to power up. Meanwhile, students can play our Zenergy iPad game, rest their aching feet by taking a break on our couches, and talk to TransCanada employees about the company, our partnership with FFA and safety issues, such as our support for the Call Before You Dig number, 811.
If you’re not lucky enough to be an FFA member attending the Expo this year, you can still share in the fun by checking out photos on our Share Your Energy! Flickr page.