Washington FFA Postpones May Convention Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Amid coronavirus safety concerns, the Washington FFA announced this week the 90th State Convention & Expo slated for May has been postponed. While a makeup date has not been announced, FFA leadership says they are looking at early August, assuming larger gatherings are permitted at that time. FFA said components of the event will be offered virtually prior to August with more details to be released into the future.

Here is the official announcement from Washington FFA:

This.
This memo is one that we could have never imagined ever having to issue. This pandemic is a human experience that we never imagined we would navigate in our lifetime. This is a time of unknowns – school disruptions, economic stress, fear, social distancing. This is also a time to think differently – collective separation can be a time for coming together in other novel ways. This time is a call to leadership and action in ways no one could learn or be prepared for but can rise to and grow through. This will be a break in tradition so that we can serve you and the public interest in protecting our state and national health.


Is.
Is this hard? Scary? Sad? Heavy? Confusing? Yes. Is the following right? Big? Necessary? Yes. Is it going to result in heartache? Absolutely – we’ve been having and sharing that feeling for days and weeks now. Is it just Washington? No – we are proud to be standing at a safe-social-distance with our fellow FFA Associations who have already and may yet be facing similar decisions. This is groundbreaking, unprecedented, and history-making. This is so we can exert a healthy influence in our homes and communities.


Us.
90 years of Washington FFA. The future of agriculture has navigated a lot history – the Great Depression, World War 2, the Cold War, the advent and infusion of technology into our daily lives, the Great Recession, medical advances and issues – and through it all we’ve continued to educate and grow the leaders who continue to feed and influence our world. Us – having our resolve tested but becoming stronger through it. Us – determined to keep each other safe & connected; because in hours of discouragement we will be there for one another. Us – finding new ways; just as the better things we will enjoy, will come to us from the struggles we are living right now.

This is Us.
This is the formal announcement postponing the live 90th Washington FFA State Convention & Expo in May and exploring a tentative date of August 2-5 pending health/government/host-site availability. Components of the event will be offered virtually prior to August with more details to be released as information is available. Email and/or social media will be a primary means of communication so be sure you are connected to our Washington FFA Facebook/Instagram/Twitter.

State Convention: Washington FFA has been live-streaming our sessions for five+ years and this year won’t be an exception in that regard. A contingency plan for state convention has been in the works and it will allow us to still honor, celebrate and surprise WAFFA members, but in new and different ways via Facebook Live and other videos. A virtual convention schedule will be released in the near future.
Spring Pre-Convention CDEs: We will continue to explore alternate options for these events should schools reconvene before June 19. We will not offer any events/registration during the mandated state school closure period (March 16-April 24), including Agriscience.

State Applications: Online applications that were previously open with an April deadline may still be accessed, however the original deadlines will not be enforced. We will not have any deadlines/expectations of access/completion during the mandated state school closure period (March 16-April 24). Alternate deadlines will be communicated once the future of school-based education is clearer. We recognize that some students may not have access to technology or stable internet access that would allow them to complete records/applications so do not want to put undue stress/worry on their shoulders during an already tumultuous time. Applications that were previously submitted can and will still be reviewed and considered with alternate award recognition (this does not include Agriscience).

CDEs/LDEs held at State Convention: We will continue to explore alternate options for these events should schools reconvene before June 19. We will not have any deadlines/registration during the mandated state school closure period (March 16-April 24). We recognize that a number of district qualifiers were not able to occur due to travel and school restrictions so will provide communication as early as we can in this very fluid period of time. Many events may have temporary rules modifications in order to make selection of a national qualifier possible – more will be released if/when such action is necessary.

Additional information and details, including information regarding summer WAFFA events, will be forthcoming as COVID-19 recommendations and mandates continue to evolve and change.

If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail gvaagen@cherrycreekradio.com

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