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The Current

Ag program thrives through adversity

Bruins in Ag Communications work on a custom license plate project. Photo by Sara Tate

FFA is planning and creating new fun events, doing competitions, and preparing themselves even during this pandemic.

In a traditional year of school, FFA students have the opportunity to attend various leadership conferences, compete against other schools, and grow through hands-on activities. However, COVID-19 restrictions have limited those opportunities.  

Agricultural Science Teacher Holly Hockett described different FFA events that are still continuing.

“We have monthly chapter meetings where we go through official business and host a fun activity to build community in our organization,” she said. “We are also in the thick of competition [and] have students and several teams running such as Parli Pro (debate), Ag Sales, Ag Communications, Nursery and Landscape, and Ag Mechanics. We also have students competing in public speaking events across the region.”

Over the last couple of months, students have had the opportunity to join different teams including new competitions, Nursery, and Landscape in which students learn to identify various household and ornamental plants as well as critique the health and ideal growing conditions. 

“I started the new nursery and landscape competition,” Senior Sara Borchert explained. “It’s a fun new competition to do. [It’s] a good chance for our chapter to have a new competition.”

Ms. Hockett explained how the current situation and pandemic have affected the chapter meetings. 

“Everything is harder because of COVID-19. We are trying to invent new ways to support and motivate students, and are limited by what’s safe,” she said. “We have adapted, but are definitely looking forward to ‘normal’.”

Senior Alyssa Downes is excited about the events she is able to help plan.

“I love the planning of all the fun, contactless, events that my officer team and I [have organized],” she said. “We love seeing kids get involved and participate in our online games. I loved the Bear Necessities we helped put on to help our fellow peers and we loved seeing the community so involved.”

Downes also said she enjoys the monthly meetings due to their games and events.

“The monthly chapter meetings have been going smoothly due to our planning,” she said. “We have had an average of 25 kids coming to each meeting. We try and keep our information short and our games longer and more fun. Every FFA member should stop by and check one out!”

Junior Molly Fowler enjoys the monthly meetings, with their entertaining activities. 

The monthly chapter meetings have been going well,” she said. “We usually have a fun activity at the end of meetings to keep the members active and engaged.”

Downes currently is on the Parliamentary Procedure team, a debate-style competition that focuses on the team’s ability to smoothly and efficiently run a meeting,

“I am currently competing in parliamentary procedure and Ag. Communications,” she said. “We meet once a week to practice for our virtual competitions. We are trying to learn how to compete on zoom, but I think our teams are doing their best!”

FFA has been doing monthly meetings, competitions, and events creating a great atmosphere for the school. Hockett would love for new students to take part in these events. 

“Make sure students check out our new Ag classes! To be in FFA, or Guide Dogs, you must be enrolled in an Agriculture Class. You can choose from Ag Biology, Ag Chemistry, Horticulture, or Ag Mechanics.”

—Macey Fowler contributed to this report.

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Ag program thrives through adversity