FFA

How COVID-19 is affecting the FFA organization

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Not too long ago the coronavirus seemed like a disease far, far away. However, in the global world we live in, it was only a matter of time before it affected the United States. While living in a connected world has its perks, it also has its drawbacks as we have seen that the past few weeks. Unfortunately, many State FFA Associations and the National FFA Organization had to change plans for the safety of the students and community members due to COVID-19.   

The National FFA Organization:

According to the the National FFA Organization website, “The National FFA Organization continues to monitor the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. Our first responsibility remains the health and safety of everyone involved with our organization — including students, advisors, chaperones, stakeholders, and staff.

Precautions include:

  • No business travel for National FFA Organization staff through April 10.
  • No travel for national officers except in approved instances through April 10.
  • Closure of the National FFA Center to all visitors beginning Monday, March 16 through at least April 10.
  • Postponement of March 27-28 National FFA Alumni & Supporters Regional Development Conference in Connecticut to August 14-15, 2020.

The current plans remain in place for all National FFA Organization events scheduled beyond April 10, though they remain subject to change. Read more here.

State FFA Associations:

  • Arkansas FFA — “We wanted to inform our members that as of today all of our District CDE contests have been postponed until further notice. We will work closely with our Ag Educators to keep our members informed when we move forward.”
  • Florida — “In accordance with guidance received from multiple federal, state and local agencies, we are taking the following precautionary actions, effective immediately.”  The State Leadership Summit (March 21-22) has been cancelled with intent to facilitate delegate work electronically. In addition, State Land Judging (March 27) has been postponed until further notice. All Florida FFA events and activities beyond March 30th will be evaluated on a rolling basis and any necessary communications will be shared as appropriate. Read more here.
  • Idaho FFA We are sad to inform you that the Idaho Career and Technical Education has officially announced that the Idaho FFA State Leadership Conference is to be cancelled due to the concerns of COVID-19 outbreak. We will keep advisors updated on what the next steps for our delegate business and competitions will be. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.”
  • Illinois FFA — “Please note it is with great deliberation and discussion the Illinois FFA Board and IAVAT Board have decided the following measures to help ensure the safety and well being of our members, as well as still allow them the opportunity to continue to participate in FFA events.” Some measure include: Illinois FFA State Awards Day is postponed indefinitely. The board will revisit the topic by April 10, 2020 , to determine the next course of action. It is highly possible that proficiency judging could be moved to an online system. All District and State level events are postponed until after April 10, 2020 including State Dairy Cattle & Handlers. Click here for the full list.
  • Iowa FFA — The Iowa FFA Association’s District FFA Conventions planned for Saturday, March 14th occured as scheduled, but only with components that are considered essential to state programming. The essential components identified include the annual meeting of voting delegates and state qualifying career development events (CDEs).
  • Minnesota FFA — “State Convention Postponed. We are exploring June dates. More information will be made available as it is confirmed.” 
  • Missouri FFA — Missouri’s State FFA Convention, which was scheduled for April 23 and 24, is postponed. Staff members are working on a contingency plan for the convention program, State Leadership Development, and State Career Development events. The association is recommending that all area and district FFA events involving significant numbers of students be reconsidered.
  • Montana FFA — After careful and substantial consideration regarding the impact that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has and will continue to make, it has been determined that the best option to protect the health of our students, stakeholders, and community is to suspend the 2020 State FFA Convention and CDE Days in Great Falls until further notice. This decision was made by representatives from the Montana FFA Association, MSU Ag & Tech Ed Department, Montana FFA Board of Trustees, and the Montana FFA Foundation.
  • Nebraska FFA — “Due to concerns regarding COVID-19 and a commitment to keep the thousands of students, advisers, and stakeholders from across the state safe, the Nebraska Department of Education has made the decision to cancel all large group gatherings, in-person meetings and the 2020 Nebraska FFA State Convention. Additional information will be shared via the Nebraska FFA website and social media channels when available.” 
  • Nevada FFA Today we had to make the tough decision to cancel the 91st Nevada FFA State Convention. Between UNR canceling the location of many of our events and growing safety concerns, we decided it was best. We are currently discussing options to conduct certain parts of the convention. Please stay tuned as we work through all of these details. Thank you to everyone who has been working hard on the local level, and our amazing volunteers and sponsors.”
  • New York FFA — “As the Coronavirus outbreak continues, we regret to inform you that this weekend’s FFA regional Substate competitions have been CANCELLED. Effective Wednesday, March 11, 2020 we will be postponing or cancelling all large group scholastic gatherings, events/conferences and travel for our FFA Officers, State Staff, and Agricultural Education Leadership through April 5, 2020.  We will reassess these events/travel restrictions no later than April 5, 2020, and will update you as soon as information is available. While we understand that this cancellation is disruptive and disappointing, it is essential that we prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved within our organization – including students, advisors, chaperones, stakeholders and staff — and we take that role seriously.” Read more here.
  • North Dakota FFA — “Due to the rapidly evolving circumstances of the Coronavirus and an effort to keep the safety of all our students, FFA members, teacherrs, and volunteers a priority, the 2020 State FFA Winter CDEs scheduled for Monday, March 23, 2020 have been postponed.” Read more here
  • Ohio FFA — “The Ohio Department of Education, Ohio FFA Association and Ohio FFA Foundation remain committed to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of our members. Therefore, it has been determined that all in-person competitions and events are canceled through April 13, 2020.” Read more here.
  • Oregon FFA   “Due to the restriction of large groups meeting within the state of Oregon, The Oregon FFA State Convention has been cancelled. We will not be rescheduling the convention, but will be rescheduling the components of convention. We will be working to promote many of the convention activities online via Facebook during the regularly scheduled convention times. A finalized schedule of next week’s events and video publications will be out by Monday. There will also be a technology-access test on Tuesday. More information will be sent to advisors of the students competing with information on scheduling. Read more here.
  • Tennessee FFA — The 92nd Tennessee FFA State Convention has been postponed. Tennessee FFA will post updates as further decisions are made.
  • Utah FFA — “In a statewide effort to proactively stop the potential spread of COVID-19, the 92nd Utah FFA State Convention has been postponed until further notice. The health and well-being of our students, stakeholders, and all in our Agricultural Education community is our top priority.” Due to the serious nature of this situation, they refrained from making any announcements regarding when or where State Convention will be held in the future. 
  • Wyoming FFA — “The Wyoming FFA has canceled the 2020 Wyoming FFA Convention, scheduled to be held April 15-18, in Cheyenne. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat and the closure of partner facilities we rely on to conduct the convention.” Read more here. 

We know how long the students have prepared for these events. However, these decisions were not made lightly and the organization only wants what is best for the students, advisors, staff, and community members. Many State FFA Associations made these announcements after President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday afternoon. Hopefully steps taken now can help the future outcome of this virus. 

We will update this list as more information becomes available. Below you can find additional information on COVID-19.

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of AGDAILY. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
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