By Colby Jobinger, student journalist for Minarets Press
With COVID-19 pushing the remainder of the school year online, clubs such as the FFA have been challenged to come up with creative and new ideas to keep members engaged. On top of increasing their social media presence, the O’Neals-Minarets FFA chapter has done many things to keep its door open. Team practices, FFA point opportunities, and surprises for seniors are just some of the ways the club is achieving this task.
Agricultural students may know that there is a four FFA point requirement for their classes, and many students had not met that four point threshold before the quarantine began. Knowing this the AG teachers came up with many unique ways for students to earn their FFA points. From going on a nature walk to cooking your family dinner there are many different ways for students to get their points. Minarets students are encouraged to check their emails for an email from teacher Keeley Hall subject named “FFA Credit Opportunities for Distance Learning” to find out exactly what needs to be done to receive the points.
For more active members competitions are set to still continue but as of now it is a “waiting game”. Competitions will begin in late June or July and have all but been confirmed to be virtual. The state staff of the FFA has been working hard to give all members the competition season they deserve, and it will soon come to fruition.
The seniors of the FFA have had a rough year and to encourage their spirits the Ag department teachers decided to deliver gifts to all senior members, which included in the gift was an FFA patch, a shadow box and many more small trinquets. However that is not where the gift ends, every Monday and Thursday for the foreseeable future Minarets FFA will be releasing videos instructing students on how to put together their gifts. This creative idea has allowed seniors to create their own project at home during this quarantine while feeling connected.
At the end of every school year the FFA chapter holds their spring banquet at the school, however this is not the case this year. The Ag Leadership class has been working on ways to make the event virtual. The banquet is still planned to be held on May 26, however there has been no word on where it will be streamed. At this event yearly rewards will be given out, students’ successes will be celebrated and the new chapter officers will be installed.
The creativity and out-of-the-box approach that the FFA has taken to keep their doors open during this time of hardship shows how much they care for their members as a whole. With extensive efforts to allow students to continue to achieve and grow the FFA is a club to keep an eye on moving forward