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A year like no other for Pennsylvania FFA state officers

Young Farmers Podcast: COVID-19 may have ruined state convention plans, but the year of service has just begun.

Chris Torres, Editor, American Agriculturist

August 5, 2020

While spring is usually a big time of year for state FFA officers, this year’s state conventions were unlike any other.

Conventions had to be reimagined for 2020 and were held virtually, like most other large-scale conventions and events.

Still, COVID-19 couldn’t stop FFA officers from meeting, having fun and electing new state officers, even if it was virtually. American Agriculturist checked in this week with the Pennsylvania State FFA Officer Team and the New York State FFA Officer Team to see how things are going thus far and how COVID-19 has affected their plans for the new year.

The conversations were split into two separate podcasts, with the Pennsylvania FFA team’s discussion releasing today and the New York FFA team’s episode coming tomorrow.

In June, seven new members of the Pennsylvania State FFA Officer Team were elected:

  • Mikara Anderson, president, 2019 graduate of Southern Huntingdon High School

  • Cody Lehman, vice president, 2020 graduate of Central Columbia High School

  • Jessica Herr, secretary, 2020 graduate of Lampeter Strasburg High School

  • Cheyenne Bastian-Brown, treasurer, 2020 graduate of Canton High School

  • Alayna Harrell, reporter, 2020 graduate of Annville Cleona High School

  • Emily O’Brien, sentinel, 2020 graduate of Everett High School (Bedford County CTC)

  • Emma Musser, chaplain, 2020 graduate of Elizabethtown High School

Six new members of the Maryland State FFA Officer Team were elected earlier this summer:

  • Cassie Bell, president, Southern FFA home chapter

  • Helen Leadingham, vice president, Boonsboro FFA home chapter

  • McKayla Kiernan, secretary, Caroline County FFA home chapter

  • Kyle Schulze, treasurer, South Carroll FFA home chapter

  • Morgan DeFriece, reporter, Brunswick FFA home chapter

  • Elsie McKenzie, sentinel, Francis Scott Key FFA home chapter

Elsie McKenzie, Morgan DeFriece, Kyle Schulze, McKayla Kiernan, Helen Leadingham, and Cassie Bell
MARYLAND FFA TEAM: Six new members of the state officer team were elected earlier this summer. Pictured are Elsie McKenzie (left), Morgan DeFriece, Kyle Schulze, McKayla Kiernan, Helen Leadingham and Cassie Bell.

Five new members of the Delaware State FFA State Officer Team were elected earlier this summer:

  • Jackson Sylvester, president, graduate of Lake Forest High School

  • Abby Edwards, vice president, graduate of Lake Forest High School

  • Emily Samick, secretary, graduate of Middletown High School

  • Maci Carter, treasurer, graduate of Lake Forest High School 

  • Kendall Metz, reporter, Caesar Rodney FFA

Read more about:

Covid 19Podcasts

About the Author(s)

Chris Torres

Editor, American Agriculturist

Chris Torres, editor of American Agriculturist, previously worked at Lancaster Farming, where he started in 2006 as a staff writer and later became regional editor. Torres is a seven-time winner of the Keystone Press Awards, handed out by the Pennsylvania Press Association, and he is a Pennsylvania State University graduate.

Torres says he wants American Agriculturist to be farmers' "go-to product, continuing the legacy and high standard (former American Agriculturist editor) John Vogel has set." Torres succeeds Vogel, who retired after 47 years with Farm Progress and its related publications.

"The news business is a challenging job," Torres says. "It makes you think outside your small box, and you have to formulate what the reader wants to see from the overall product. It's rewarding to see a nice product in the end."

Torres' family is based in Lebanon County, Pa. His wife grew up on a small farm in Berks County, Pa., where they raised corn, soybeans, feeder cattle and more. Torres and his wife are parents to three young boys.

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