FFA Forges Onward

FFA+Forges+Onward

Ava Wells, Staff

The Holdrege FFA participates in many events throughout the school year; a large portion of those events are geared  toward the community outreach in Holdrege. Unfortunately, as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, a lot of the usual events have had to be modified or postponed. Nevertheless, the Holdrege FFA members still have bright outlooks for what the year still holds.

The Holdrege FFA chapter’s usual participation in community outreach events throughout the school year has taken on a different look. Generally, the chapter will have a beginning of the year picnic where the members of FFA and their families meet to share a meal at the North Park in Holdrege and discuss the year’s events: farm safety camp (members of the chapter go through different ways to stay safe on the farm with the Phelps County kindergarten and first grader); harvest meals (FFA members package meals and deliver them to the farmers/harvesting crews around the Holdrege area), and the corn husking competition (FFA members help with the corn husking competition put on by the Nebraska Prairie Museum). However, most of these events had to be cancelled or postponed due to the current pandemic. The corn husking event was the only event attended as planned.

In order to keep some of these events from being cancelled, the FFA has moved their community and school events to a virtual setting. Farm safety camp along with a handful of FFA competitions have been scheduled to take place online. To be able to put on their farm safety camp, the members of the chapter pre-recorded themselves talking about ways to stay safe while performing different tasks on the farm or just outdoors. The elementary students then watched the videos in their classrooms and had the opportunity to learn a lot! Unfortunately, the FFA kick-off picnic and harvest meals were unable to be held this year. Some Career Development Events (CDE) have been moved to a virtual venue. Despite the possible negative outlook for FFA events, there are positives that exist. One positive of switching to virtual meetings is that it makes it easier for FFA members to sign up and be more involved in the different FFA events than they normally are. It is expected with the current pandemic that this year’s FFA events wouldn’t go as planned. Many of the new members and the senior members have different views on these changes. 

Sabyn Petit, a senior and chapter officer of FFA, stated,  “As most of these events and competitions have been moved virtually, it gives more members an opportunity to sign up for more.” With so many different FFA events and activities, it can become difficult for the members to be involved in all of them. The virtual setting has allowed them the freedom to be able to participate in these events more easily. A prospect that makes the busy schedules of FFA officers like Sabyn more managable. FFA officers are in charge of getting events set up and organized, along with getting everything ready and paid for. While some of the freshmen members may not experience quite the responsibility of the officers, they are still eager to be involved despite the COVID regulations. Freshman Charli Wells said, “As a freshman, some of the ways that I can get involved and help plan different events is by giving my say at meetings and signing up to help with different events.” Regardless of these different viewpoints on all the changes to their year, one view they all hold is a return to normal. Sabyn Petit said, “Hopefully the year will be back to normal sooner rather than later.” 

As COVID-19 has changed many of the original plans this year, it is reassuring knowing that there are some bright sides to the chaos. With all of the upcoming community outreach events planned for the remainder of the school year, the Holdrege FFA will continue to stay busy and keep a positive attitude toward it all!