Considering the concerns and cancellations related to COVID-19, leadership of the Minnesota FFA announced that they have postponed the Minnesota FFA Convention this spring.
The announcement also included postponement of state FFA career and leadership development events (CDE/LDE) finals. All events were scheduled for April 19-21, 2020 at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Minnesota state FFA advisor Zane Sheehan and Minnesota FFA executive director Juleah Tolosky notified FFA advisors, alumni and stakeholders March 13 about the decision. In an email, they said the decision was based on concerns for student and community health and safety; recent cancellations of regional CDE and LDE qualifiers; the University of Minnesota’s campus closure; and Gov. Tim Walz’s March 13 press conference that recommended cancellation of large events.
They noted that discussions were taking place to possibly reschedule the state convention and state CDE/LDE finals for June 8-10. They encouraged all involved to hold those dates as they worked with partners to explore contracts and timing.
“At this time, these are the only dates that we have identified which would meet our facilities and capacity needs,” they said in the email. “The convention experience may also look different as we explore all potential avenues for delivering the event, which may include virtual meetings, trainings and even competitions. There are still many unknown variables. However, we will work to communicate our plans clearly with all students, advisors and guests as they are developed.”
Val Aarsvold, executive director of the Minnesota FFA Foundation, reiterated that state FFA leadership is committed to the well-being of its members, advisors and supporters.
“FFA members have been busy preparing for career development events and we are hopeful that we can provide them an opportunity to further grow their skills and leadership abilities,” she said. “We are researching possible dates in June, but those plans remain fluid at this time.”
Minnesota’s state FFA convention draws more than 4,000 FFA members and guests to participate in general sessions, competitive events, educational tours and leadership workshops.