[AgEd] COVID-19 Event Update: March 17, 2020

Deimler, William L. William.Deimler at schools.utah.gov
Wed Mar 18 13:02:16 MDT 2020

From: Megan Cook, FFA Executive Secretary and William L. Deimler, State FFA Advisor
Subject: COVID-19 Event Update: March 17, 2020

Since Thursday, March 12, when the announcement was made that the Utah FFA State Convention would be postponed, there have been a number of developments in regard to the COVID-19 situation across the nation as well as in the state of Utah. On March 15, the Center for Disease Control released a recommendation to cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more for eight weeks. This, along with campus closures, event and travel restrictions, statewide school closures, and the uncertainty of what the coming days, weeks, and even months have in store, have caused unfortunate and inevitable challenges for our Association.

It is not easy to make the announcement that the 2020 Utah FFA State Career Development Events, scheduled for April 21-22, have been postponed. We know that this news shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it does not lessen the sting. We know how hard your students have been working toward their goals. We know that this is just one more bit of bad news to hit your inbox.

Please know that we are working hard to come up with solutions, compromises, ideas, and inventive ways to provide a positive experience for you and your students. As of last evening, we are joined by 18 other states who are facing near identical challenges, and are working to collaborate with them to narrow down ideas to solve these common problems.

Due to the uncertain nature of this situation, we are holding off on calling an emergency Advisory Board meeting until sometime in mid-April. At that time, we will convene with the Board to discuss options once we know the status of school closures after the current two-week soft closure. We want to be methodical, thorough, and strategic in our plans to implement CDEs, LDEs, and other components of Convention, and want to ensure that we don’t miss the mark on this.

A few notes for specific contests/components:

  *   State Officer Candidates and Nominating Committee members will receive additional information to help them continue in their preparations. They should have received an email on March 13th with updates, so please check with your candidates or Nominating Committee members to make sure they received it.
  *   Employment Skills contestants will receive information that will put us back on track with a plan  since they have already begun portions of their contest.
  *   State Star and scholarship finalist interviews will likely be done through a video conferencing platform. More information will be provided as it comes.
  *   All other CDEs and LDEs will be discussed in the coming weeks, but no decisions will be made regarding contests until after the Advisory Board meeting in April and once we have regained our footings and have a better idea of what restrictions might be in place in the future.
This is surely a time that none of us will forget. The strength and resilience of the Utah Agricultural Education family is real, and there is no doubt that we will rise above the challenges that we are being faced with. Stay strong, stay healthy, and hold on tight, we will make it through this!



Megan Cook
Utah FFA Executive Secretary

Office (435) 797-2167
Cell (435) 764-7471
Fax (435) 797-4002

William L Deimler | Specialist | Agricultural and Welding Education | Utah State Board of Education |
250 E 500 S | PO Box 144200 | Salt Lake City | Utah | 84114-4200
O: 801-538-7856 C: 801-554-2366 | william.deimler at schools.utah.gov<mailto:william.deimler at schools.utah.gov>

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