Update #5: Changes to Florida FFA Events & Activities (COVID-19)
Mar 25, 2020 by Ronnie Simmons
Gainesville, Florida - The Florida FFA Association continues to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in the United States, and we are committed to taking proactive steps to protect the health of our staff, our teachers, our stakeholders and the students we serve.
In accordance with guidance received from multiple federal, state and local agencies, along with the Florida FFA Board of Directors and our partners at the University of Florida and other institutions, we are taking the following precautionary actions, effective immediately many of which have been communicated in previous updates:
Events & Travel
- All staff and state officer business travel continues to be limited through April 15th, except for trips that are approved as necessary and responsible. We are beginning to look at officer travel beyond April 15th and will adjust this travel restriction as necessary.
- Veterinary Assisting CDE – Will host virtual state finals event that will possibly contain all portions from the regular event, except for certain hands-on practicums.
- State Land Judging - CANCELLED with 2019 top five teams (chapters) remaining eligible for national competition.
- Star Tour - Replaced with "virtual tour" document submission required by May 1st. See Star Finalist email that was sent our earlier today via CONNECT for specific details.
- State Horse CDE - Will default to State Fair Preliminary Results. Top 5 teams will be declared by press release in the coming days.
- Award Application Judging - POSTPONED. Options are still being considered.
- UPDATE: Quarterly FFA Board Meeting - POSTPONED. Options will be considered to host this meeting in person (once travel restrictions have been lifted), or virtually if needed, at least 45 days prior to the start of convention.
- State Aquaculture CDE - Will host virtual state finals. Online event will possibly contain the written exam, Species ID & Selection, ID & Treatment of Disease, Pests & Predators.
- State Livestock CDE - Will default to State Fair Preliminary Results. Top 5 teams will be declared by press release in the coming days.
- State Meats CDE - Will host virtual state finals. Virtual event will possibly contain: Retail ID, Beef Quality & Yield Grade(s) and Quiz.
- State Agribusiness Management CDE - Will host virtual state finals consisting of all portions of event.
- State Agricultural Sales CDE - POSTPONED with intent to host state finals event in conjunction with the Florida FFA State Convention. If it is determined that this is not possible, a virtual state finals event will be announced.
- State Agricultural Communications CDE - POSTPONED with intent to host state finals event in conjunction with the Florida FFA State Convention. If it is determined that this is not possible, a virtual state finals event will be announced.
- State OH Demos - CANCELLED for 2020.
- State Vegetable CDE - Will host virtual state finals event with intent of including all portions of event.
- State Ag Mechanics CDE - Will host virtual state finals event with intent to include exam and written scenarios/practicums.
- State Poultry CDE - Will host virtual state finals event with intent of including interior, exterior, ready to cook and parts ID.
- State Officer Candidate Screening - (April 27-28) No announced change at this time. Will continue to evaluate as more information becomes available. We believe we have the ability to push this closer to June if necessary.
- UPDATED: Agricultural Issues CDE - Event will remain as scheduled in conjunction with convention, however, we have waived the requirement of having five (5) forums prior to the state event. While we still encourage the forums to take place (the best way you can, with at least one before convention if possible), we will work with the winning team to document those forums appropriately for national participation, even if they have to happen after the state event.
- UPDATED: 92nd Florida FFA State Convention & Expo (June 15-19). We are still working to make Registration & Housing Information available as soon as possible, however it will likely not become available until early May. The parent company of Caribe Royale has temporarily suspended all operations worldwide with plans to resume operations at 4:00PM on May 1st. While we do not currently have any intentions to change the delivery date(s) or delivery methods for our convention, we are having both internal discussions and discussions with our colleagues throughout the country, regarding contingency plans for convention delivery. Again, we do not currently have any plans to change the dates or delivery of convention. However, we will provide you with continued updates as they become available.
Applications & Due Dates (UPDATED)
The following adjustments have been made to the award applications that were originally due on April 1st. Please note that these dates are actual submission deadlines and do not include a grace period:
- National Chapter Award Applications Deadline - Due in FFA Office April 1st at 5:00 PM.
- Proficiency Award Applications Deadline - Due in FFA Office April 1st at 5:00 PM.
- Chapter Cooperative Award Application - Due in FFA Office April 22nd by 5:00 PM.
- Chapter Advocacy Award Application - Due in FFA Office April 22nd by 5:00 PM.
- Outstanding District Officer Award Application - Due in FFA Office April 22nd by 5:00 PM.
- FFA Advisor of The Year Award Nomination - Due in FFA Office April 22nd by 5:00 PM.
- Feeder Steer & Feeder Swine Award Applications - Due in FFA Office April 22nd by 5:00 PM.
- Note: Due to inconsistency of fair/festival record book requirements this year, record books will not be required to accompany feeder applications.
- State Convention Talent / State Convention Courtesy Corps - will be extended to coincide with the release of convention information.
- Employment Skills LDE Materials - Online submission due May 1st by 5:00 PM.
- Agriscience Fair Applications - Due in FFA Office May 8th at 5:00 PM.
- Prepared Public Speaking Manuscripts - Online submission due May 1st by 5:00 PM
- Agricultural Issues Portfolios - Online submission due May 1st by 5:00 PM.
- Note: We have waived the requirement of having five (5) forums prior to the state event. While we still encourage the forums to take place (the best way you can, with at least one before convention if possible), we will work with the winning team to document those forums appropriately for national participation, even if they have to happen after the state event.
- Quality Chapter Report - Online submission due May 8th by 5:00 PM.
Please note that for each of the virtual competitive events listed above, we will establish and announce dates and specifics as soon as we have them. With school restrictions currently in place through mid-April, these events will be scheduled no sooner than May 1st and will happen over a period of several weeks and days. An official announcement and an event overview for each event will be released as information becomes available. As for now, we encourage your students to continue preparing for each event based on the information provided above.
We understand that there will be many questions regarding this delivery format, and we will do our best to answer those questions when those answers become available. Unfortunately, we do not have any additional information at this time, as these events have not yet been developed. We ask that you consider the “big picture”, as well as, the “cause and effect” relationship between some of our events and the timeline that we work from in school-based agricultural education.
As you might imagine, our staff is working very diligently to try to make the best of this situation, develop online materials, salvage the continuity of our program delivery, and continue to work with our superintendents to deliver high-quality, educational events for our students. I continue to ask that you offer kindness and respect (both in person and in your electronic/social communications) to our staff, our superintendents, and our board members, who have been (and will continue to be) working extended hours to implement this plan.
On behalf of all of us in FFA and Agricultural Education, thank you for your patience in the coming days, weeks and perhaps months, and most importantly, thank you for your work each day.
Ronnie D. Simmons
Executive Secretary / Director
Florida FFA Association, Inc.
FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
The Florida FFA Association is a resource and support organization that does not select, control, supervise or approve local chapter or individual member activities except as expressly provided for in the Florida FFA Constitution and Bylaws.
The Florida FFA Association affirms its belief in the value of all human beings and seeks diversity in its membership, leadership and staff as an equal opportunity employer.