The National Convention Goes Virtual

November 5, 2020

Matt+Crutcher+%28FFA+Advisor%29+speaking+at+past+FFA+banquet.

Matt Crutcher (FFA Advisor) speaking at past FFA banquet.

This year the Fair Grove FFA (Future Farmers of America) chapter and its members will not be attending the FFA National Convention this year physically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Convention is normally held in Indianapolis, Indiana and is a week long event which students from all ages and all over the country partake in yearly. “With COVID-19, our leadership at the national level chose to cancel an in person and go to virtual format. With a virtual format, the National FFA organization has the opportunity to reach a much larger audience than ever before,” stated Cole Johnston, the Vocational Agriculture teacher. 

A typical convention year for the Fair Grove FFA Chapter would consist of attending agriculture industry tours, convention sessions, and trade shows in order to expose students to a wide variety of career opportunities. With the convention being virtual this year, Johnston commented, “We have gotten the opportunity to have a watch party for the opening evening session which was held on October 27th. We have utilized this event as a chapter wide event to have fun with our members as a whole.” 

The National Convention also has many other activities for students to attend such as being able to connect with industry professionals, colleges, and tech schools to help students start building their future, as well as attending sessions with world renowned speakers, concerts, workshops, and agriculture industry tours. “We give our students goals to go visit and sign up for information from five colleges or tech schools, to get free merchandise and goodies from various agriculture businesses, and to try and meet people from other states,” Johnston added.

“My favorite parts have to include going to a concert, attending live sessions, and meeting new people. Typically, the live sessions consist of a keynote speaker, and tend to be very motivating for members,” commented Bailey Richardson (12), the president of the Fair Grove FFA Chapter. 

For the Fair Grove FFA Chapter, the trip is usually funded by lots of fundraising throughout the summer, and throughout the early fall season. With this year being virtual, all FFA members will have the opportunity to experience the National Convention in one way or another. Johnston concluded, “I am saddened that we are not having a National Convention in person. I understand with the situation it was the best decision. I am excited for students who have not yet had the opportunity to attend the National Convention to actually see and experience it in a way. For our younger students, this will be one of the first events they get to experience the bond and comradery that comes with being a member of the FFA chapter. It is always an outstanding trip.”

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