Springtime is usually the time that FFA kids are gearing up to showcase projects, start raising animals for the summer or sell animals that they have raised since winter. Due to COVID-19, a lot of these important events have had to be cancelled or moved online, resulting in uncertainty surrounding the benefits of their hard work.
“The COVID closure caused some great obstacles not only for us here as the instructors, but to the students as well,” said Mike Wallace, a Quincy High School FFA advisor
Since March 16, students were not able to take care of the animals in person that they had obtained in December to show in late March. With just two weeks left in the project, they were unable to go in and finish caring for their animals. The Moses Lake Junior Livestock Show and Spokane Junior Livestock Show were cancelled, making the showing of animals this spring out of the question entirely.
The spring shows are where a lot of students showcase their hard work and then sell their animals to fund the next project they intend to take on for the summer. Due to the show's cancellation, there was worry that the animals would not get sold at all.
“The animals were all sold to local people who are now thankfully stocked up on quality meat in the light of potential meat shortages at supermarkets. A very large thank you goes out to those who helped out our students with their animal's end game,” Wallace said.
This last week, the FFA just finished their yearly plant sale, said Rod Cool, agriculture educator and FFA advisor of the Quincy High School. This year’s sale was online order with pick up on May 4 and 5.
The Spring Career Development Events and Leadership Development Events are proceeding as competitions on Zoom platforms and as online competitions. The speaking events will start this week and the judging competitions shortly. The Washington State FFA Convention is currently being shown virtually and can be watched on https://www.washingtonffa.org/ .
A project planned to continue this summer for the FFA is a piece of land they hope to use as a learning lab and source of income for the Quincy FFA chapter. “The twelve acres of property in front of the high school was seeded by Scott Bierlink, who graciously donated his time in the preparation and planting of the field. CHS Sun Basin Growers donated the field service, fertilizer, and the Triticale seed to complete the project. A large thank you goes out to George Smith and Cade Wallace for donating the resources and time. The field was planted two weeks ago Friday and the seed started emerging last Wednesday.” Wallace said. They plan to use the lot as a pasture this summer and later install an irrigation system for agriculture.
Despite all of the adjustments and uncertainty, the FFA are still anticipating the Grant County Fair in the second week of August to proceed as normal.