TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey FFA’s 91st Annual Convention will take place this year on May 18-22 and will be all virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The theme for the 2020 convention, normally attended by more than 400 students, is “Your Story, Your Legacy.” Throughout the week, results will be compiled and sessions will be recorded leading up to the opening session Wednesday night, which will include remarks from NJDA Secretary Douglas Fisher. The first session, as well as sessions on Thursday and Friday, will be aired on the New Jersey FFA YouTube channel and will recognize the hard work of chapters around the state. Nearly $22,000 in scholarships will be awarded, Honorary Garden State Degree and Distinguished Service Award recipients will be recognized, and the 2020-2021 NJ State Officer Team will be installed.
“FFA members do an outstanding job each year with their State Convention, and they are proving how innovative and creative they can be by not allowing COVID-19 to stop their most important event,” Secretary Fisher said. “With the Convention taking place in a virtual venue, this will be an exciting and enthusiastic experience.”
The week will begin when state officer candidates participate in the nominating committee process on May 18-19. Students will undergo intense virtual interviews and be evaluated by six of their peers. The committee will be tasked with nominating the 2020-2021 NJ State FFA officers who will lead the coming year.
“We are proud of how our state officer team met the many challenges faced when putting together a virtual event,” State FFA Advisor Erin Noble said. “The time and effort they have invested in planning this Convention ensures this will be a wonderful way to cap our year.”
Members will have the opportunity to compete in an array of Career and Leadership Development Events by pre-recording materials and preparing entries to be submitted via Google Classroom and judged by experts in the industry. Students in public speaking events, employment skills, and STAR interviews will compete live via Zoom to a panel of judges. Members and chapters have also submitted a variety of applications to highlight their hard work and successes throughout the year.
There will also be an opportunity to participate in a leadership workshop facilitated by National FFA Western Region Vice President, Lyle Logemann. Invitees also can participate in the Teach Ag Signing Event, a chance to celebrate students who are committing to a degree in Agricultural Education in the hopes of becoming an agricultural educator.
New Jersey’s 36 FFA chapters will conduct normal association business through the Delegate Process. Students will attend virtual meetings on Thursday morning to discuss committee business and develop reports for recommendations to be presented to the entire delegate body. The business session will be held on Thursday afternoon where delegates will vote on Constitutional Amendments and accept committee reports.
The YouTube sessions, which can be viewed by the public, will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, and at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Friday. For the detailed convention schedule, visit: https://bit.ly/2SJPNtM
–Jeff Wolfe, NJDA