On Friday, we heard from Leon Busdieker, the Missouri State FFA Advisor about the virtual state convention that is taking place this week.  We were able to hear from two state FFA officers from around the area to get their take on the decision to go virtual and how that impacts the state officers as well as those members and chapters who will be recognized for their accomplishments.

Missouri FFA State Vice President Kaylee Lewis from Chillicothe.

Kaylee Lewis of Chillicothe is currently serving as one of the State Vice Presidents for Missouri FFA.  She says that the State Officers and other State Staff were all involved in the decisions to go virtual this year.

Every person really involved, at the state level, had not only a say, but was able to discuss with other people in order to be able to come up with a solution that would not only serve the members to be recognized but also to keep everyone happy and healthy and I definitely feel like we had say officers were highly involved.

Lewis says she feels for those members not able to go on stage to be recognized for their hard work this year.

As a state officer, the first thing that ran through my brain whenever it was announced that convention was cancelled was the fact that the members weren’t going to be able to be recognized on stage. That, to me, was pretty devastating.  Before I was a state officer, obviously I was a member for four years and standing on that stage means a lot to be recognized for all of your hard work that leads up to that achievement. But, number one we want to keep everyone healthy and very safe.  Taking that into consideration, that’s why we went to the virtual platform actually.  We wanted to make sure everyone felt like their hard work was recognized and that they were able to exhibit that hard work to everyone else.  I feel like no, that virtual platform does not necessarily replace everything you could have gotten in person, but within the circumstances we are in, I feel like it is a pretty good alternative.

Missouri State FFA Vice President Jacob Hall from Marshall.

The state officers recognize that some FFA members may feel like they have been short changed by not having the in-person convention this year.  Jacob Hall, a current State FFA Vice President from Marshall says members should focus on all of the other memories that FFA has given them, instead of focusing on what 2020 has taken away.

I’d say that every member that feels like they got jipped or whatever the word may be, yes you may not get to be up on stage, or be a part of the National FFA Organization at state convention ever again, but you still have the memories from previous years.  You still have the experiences that FFA has given you and the experiences that will build you into the person that you’re going to be one day.  Being a state officer this year, we’re all still proud of the fact that we were members of this organization and that we had the chance, even during that virtual convention, so relishing in those little moments that we still get to have.  Whether it be the governor announcing that there’s going to be a state fair and we’re going to get to celebrate agriculture in August.  That’s what I would tell people to help get them through this moment.  As well as, letting them know that state staff and state officers this year and the next team that is coming in are all really excited to help out in any way that we can and that we’re just one email or message away and we can chat at any time.  

On behalf of everyone here at KMZU, I would like to congratulate all members and chapters across the state for a job well done this year, and we would like to also congratulate the state officer team on completing their year of service.  Tune in tomorrow through Thursday to hear interviews with area FFA members about their personal and chapter accomplishments being recognized.

Photos from Missouri FFA website.