COVID-19 changes the FFA experience

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Wade Photography

FFA members proudly show off their award pennants.

Riley Wallace, Staffer

Future Farmers of America (FFA) at Klein Collins High School has changed since previous years. With COVID-19 still prevalent in the area, competitions, animal raising, and day-to-day classroom activities have only slightly changed.

 

“I thought it would be way different this year than last year with the whole pandemic changing the whole FFA scene,” sophomore Landon Reed said.

 

Students in previous years that took part in the organization in previous years have only had a slightly different experience than they have now with COVID-19 still around. Masks have been enforced at agriculture shows, limited seating, and social distancing have occurred.

 

The school currently has 120 kids in FFA compared to around 100 kids last year. Raising, feeding, and tending to an animal is time-consuming and arduous, and the pandemic has increased the challenges with these duties, decreasing the number of annual shows and competitions.

 

Senior Ryan Trautwein has been doing FFA since freshman year and has persisted through the program despite the numerous challenges brought down by COVID-19. He raises pigs and chickens among other animals.

 

“My best placement (ranking) for a Klein show would be being grand champion with my heifer (female cow), and I had an average placement for all of my other animals,” junior Ryan Smee said. 

 

Every year, the Klein Collins Agriculture teacher, Danny Reaves, has made sure students have had at least one show to present their animal or project at.

 

“We’ve been able to have at least one in-person show, but switched everything else virtually,” Reaves said.

 

Though COVID-19 has increased the challenges, the experience has been memorable.