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COVID-19 shuts down Future Farmers of America's Georgia competition

Mary Persons High Agriculture Teacher Bill Waldrep says about 3,000 FFA students across Georgia would have been competing in Macon this week.

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. — It's Mary Persons High School freshman Willow Waldrep's first year showing beef cattle, but she's no stranger to livestock.

"Through FFA, I participate in many competitions. I've also shown lambs and hogs since I was in elementary school," Willow said.

She was going to compete at the Future Farmers of America State Competition this week, but it was canceled because of COVID-19.

"It's kind of a let down when you've put in all of this hard work to not be able to go through with it," she said.

"That would've been 2,500 to 3,000 students coming in from the state of Georgia to Macon, and right now we just don't know what's going to happen with those competitions or conventions or anything like that," Mary Persons Agriculture teacher and FFA advisor Bill Waldrep said.

He says it puts statewide competitions on hold.

"Five or six competitions that were supposed to happen towards the end of March, like the state livestock judging contest, state ag-mechanics contest, state nursery landscaping contest, state wildlife contest. So hopefully we'll be able to make them up in the fall," Bill said.

Willow says for now, she's using the downtime to make sure her calf is  prepared for the next show.

"I'm looking forward to participating in shows whenever show season does come, and hopefully we'll be able to go to all the shows that we plan on going to," she said.

Bill says lamb competitions this summer are up in air depending on the status of COVID-19.

FFA students can win prize money and scholarships from the state event and qualify for national competition in Indianapolis.


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