By MATTHEW WEAVER
About 750 FFA students attended this year's Spokane Ag Expo, some from as far away as Utah.
Among those in attendance at the Expo were 49 FFA members and three advisors from Sky View High School in Smithfield, Utah.
Advisor Kris Thompson said the chapter takes an annual tour. Past destinations have included the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif., and the Denver Livestock Show.
The chapter works to expose students to agriculture different from their region, which primarily consists of dairy and forage products like hay and grains, Thompson said.
Janessa Christensen, a senior from Sky View High School, said the students wanted to see Washington's agriculture and weather.
"Lots of driving, but it's been awesome," she said. "How much open land you guys have. There's just land everywhere, gorgeous land. Rolling hills -- it's really pretty."
Christensen lives on a horse ranch and raises hogs for the fair. She plans to attend Utah State University and become an agriculture educator.
Along the way, the Utah students toured McNary Dam on the Columbia River near Umatilla, Ore., a woolen mill in Pendleton, Ore., Spokane Industries for manufacturing and fabrication and an aquarium in Boise, Idaho.
"Some of these kids don't get the opportunity to travel," Thompson said. "They form good friendships, good bonds. It gets them into the ag industry in other areas for job opportunities and career exploration."