Though the 2019-2020 state officer team didn’t think we’d still be around, we’re happy to be continually serving a state association that’s making the most of this time.

The difficult circumstance we find ourselves in isn’t what we would have chosen. We couldn’t meet at state convention, many of us won’t have graduation ceremonies, and for some of us fear and anxiety may seem crippling as we’re stuck at home. Despite this, tough times also have the potential to grow us and bring us together.

Though we’re all physically separated, in many ways Oregon FFA has never been more united. Our opening session at the first ever virtual state convention had far more viewers than it would’ve in person. We’ve heard stories of FFA members serving their communities in practical ways. Members, advisors, and supporters have organized Zoom calls to stay in touch and keep moving forward.

We’ve also realized that the coronavirus hasn’t stopped FFA members from achieving amazing personal growth. Members have used their extra free time to prepare for virtual Career Development Events, learn new skills, and deepen relationships.

Oregon FFA has done our best to adapt given the current stay at home order. State staff continues to work hard from home as we make several changes:

Almost all of our Career Development Events will be happening virtually. Farm Business Management and Coop Quiz awards were announced today. Public speakers are currently using Zoom calls to speak to a panel of judges. Other Career Development Events, which would usually take place at CDE Days in Corvallis, will be happening virtually as well. Talk to an advisor for more information if you or someone you know would like to participate.

Our social media pages are far more active than they usually would be. We’ve started highlighting Oregon FFA’s seniors in daily posts in a time that’s especially difficult for them. Additionally, the state officers are making fun weekly videos from their homes. Catch up with Olivia on Mondays, Keegan on Tuesdays, Riley on Wednesdays, Ellie on Thursdays, Deidre on Fridays, and me on Saturdays!

As we look into the future, plans to elect a new state officer team are still coming together. Though the Oregon FFA Constitution and Bylaws state that in the absence of a state convention, the current state officers serve another year, all six of us believe Oregon FFA deserves a fresh team of student leaders. State staff is working to arrange for a virtual Nominating Committee to meet. They will select six leaders and report their slate at a State Executive Committee meeting. At that time, the state officer team will resign to allow the Executive Committee; made up of the district presidents, the state officer, and the Board of Directors, to fill our vacant positions.

Thank you all for continuing to stay positive and push forward with us! We’re looking forward to the future. Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone who’s being affected by the current pandemic.

~Josiah Cruikshank