ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Agriculture students gathered Tuesday for the 12th annual Douglas County Future Farmers of America leadership convention.
The event kicked off Sept. 17 and will carry on through Sept. 19. It's being held at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Frear St.
Students from every high school FFA chapter in Douglas County and one from Coos County are participating in the convention, which is held every other year.
Organizers say more than 400 students will participate each day. By the end of the convention, they say they will see a total of 1,000 students.
Mark Hopfer, the conference organizer, says the main goal is to teach students that leadership and agriculture go hand in hand.
“Agriculture and leadership connect because even in their cultural fields, we’re in a political mindset," says Hopfer. "We have to have leaders who take us into the next generation. “
Hopfer also says the event is catered specifically for FFA students in Douglas County, and it's the only convention like it in Oregon.
He says the whole conference costs $50,000 to host. However, Hopfer says they rely heavily on local sponsors so that every student can participate for free.