FFA Kicks Off 2021 News Brief

Vianey Hinojo, Sports Editor

FFA kicks off the new year with fun activities and opportunities for students who wish to pursue an education in biotechnology or agriculture or who are looking for a club that will develop their leadership potential. 

Adjusting back to school after being online the majority of last year has been a big change, but students are now able to participate in activities and competitions. 

“One of the largest will be just our normal monthly meetings.  Again, the opportunity to interact in person is so much better.  Also, many of our leadership workshops were done virtually last year, and while it may still help students, the in-person piece of them is so much better,” FFA adviser Michael Johnson said.  “The info that students can gain from those conferences are extremely helpful for them through and after High School no matter what career or school choices they will make upon graduation.” 

Covid-19 has taken a toll on many aspects of FFA.

“Our membership numbers have stayed strong over the past few years, but during the virtual part of school our active members took a dive.  It was harder to reach out to students that we did not see daily to encourage them to be active,” Johnson said.  “We tried virtual meetings through Google Meet and they were good, but they were different from having the opportunity to interact with students in person.”  

Johnson hopes 2021-22 will see a rebound to pre-pandemic participation. 

“We have had our first official meeting already for this school year, and we had a great turnout and are excited about moving forward based on participation and interaction at that meeting,” Johnson said.

For students looking to join an inclusive club that provides enrichment opportunities, Johnson wants them to give FFA a look. 

“Don’t let FFA or the old “Future Farmers” turn you away.  There is so much that our student organization does for students that they can take from no matter what career choice or major they want to pursue after school,” Johnson said.  “Our group becomes a family and many of the members still stay in contact with other FFA members they become friends with through our club.  Give it a shot and come to one of our events.” 

FFA students participate in a lot of fun and instructive activities that benefit them, including one annual favorite. 

The students will travel to the N.C. State Fair Oct. 14 and Oct. 17 to help with the FFA Children’s Barnyard, an annual event that many students in the past looked forward to. 

Johnson said, “This is such a great opportunity for our Animal Science Students and FFA Members to teach the public about the animals and have them interact with them in person.  Our students gain so much from the interactions. That is something that cannot be replaced.  Also, them having the opportunity to take care of and learn the care of a wide variety of animals is wonderful.  It was sad not having the opportunity to help with the fair last year.”