Kentucky FFA members being recognized after a tough year due to COVID

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The hard work of Kentucky’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) members is being recognized at the state level.

“People in FFA don’t let things like a global pandemic slow us down at all,” said Sophie Bowlin, Harrison County FFA member.

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FFA members from across the state were finally back together for the 92nd state convention in Lexington.

“This is my favorite part of FFA overall,” said Bowlin. “I’m so glad I got to be a part of this.”

After last year’s virtual convention, this year it was hybrid, allowing the over 15,700 members to meet in person or watch virtually.

“We have invited finalists, their families, and AG teachers to be here with us in Lexington so they get to have some on-stage recognition and we get to celebrate the hard work of FFA members from across Kentucky throughout the pandemic this past year,” said Sheldon McKinney, Kentucky FFA Foundation Executive Director.

Members competed in virtual events, including public speaking, AG-science events, and more.

The Parliamentary Procedure State Winners said it’s been four years in the making to make it to the state finals.

“It was so surreal,” expressed Ginny Lyle, Western Hills FFA Member. “Honestly, I went on to stage thinking that we placed in the third place, and so when I heard our names called, it was a shock at the beginning.”

Many members from across the state say it wasn’t an easy year for them due to the pandemic.

“COVID hit us really hard,” said Laurynn Miracle, Harrison County FFA Member. “We had been practicing for months, and we just got to competition season, and COVID pretty much just ended all of it. We weren’t able to get together.”

However, members said they learned how to push through the challenges.

“A speed bump is just a speed bump, and as leaders, we have to find ways to overcome those obstacles and to persevere and rise above,” said Lyle.

Over $100,000 in prize money was awarded to members.