The week of June 10, the 29,000 members of Florida FFA and their advisors pulled off an amazing technological achievement while demonstrating responsible behavior for themselves and setting an example for the rest of us at their annual convention.

At any given time during the days of meeting by distant virtual communication, as many as 6,000 members participated at one time in high-energy meetings enjoyed by all participants.

The convention was touted by FFA on its website, stating, “Extraordinary times lead extraordinary people to do extraordinary things.”

FFA has grown from 33 students in Kansa City in 1928 to thousands of participants nationwide. Its primary goal of communication in a responsible manner on relevant issues prepares its members for quality education and interaction in society. 

The Florida FFA members and their advisors decided to put health care first when weighing the need for face-to-face interaction. They understood the folly of placing hundreds of persons together in close contact as a recipe for disaster, especially in the boisterous setting of a rally or convention. 

The behavioral science and statistics department at UF tells us that COVID-19 will spread two to three times further from person to person in a high-energy environment. Those participating then unwittingly spread it to innocent persons in their community.

The retiring state officers and incoming ones gave up a chance to stand on a stage to receive adulation from their peers, opting to meet virtually, placing the health of the members and families they would return to first in a remarkable demonstration of community spirit.

Thanks to each of you participating for being points of light for the rest of us to follow.