Diamond FFA students adapting plant sale to follow social distancing guidelines

Joplin Area Coronavirus

DIAMOND, Mo. — While many students are at home, a few students are still working on projects that can’t be put on hold.

FFA students at Diamond High School aren’t going to be able to finish some of their projects in wood or metal shop.

Benny McWilliams, Agriculture Teacher, said, “As you can see, I got several dollars worth amounts of projects out here in just this metal shop that were not able to complete.”

Zach Baird, Junior, Diamond High School, said, “We actually had a few senior guys working on some projects and their not going to be able to complete the projects.”

Or enjoy the events that were scheduled for the end of the year.

“Ya have a lot of kids while their time in FFA they get to go to the state FFA convention in Columbia and it’s been cancelled,” said McWilliams.

However they are still working hard despite school being closed to keep a few of their projects going that can’t be paused.

Their animals and their green house.

“We need to keep these plants growing and we need to have this plants sale. Just like our livestock. If we don’t feed and water our livestock ya know, worst comes to worse we can’t do that.”

Saturday Diamond’s FFA chapter is holding its plant sale and along with individual livestock projects students have been putting in the work to keep them going.

There have been protocols put in place to keep everyone safe both for the plant sale and for working in the greenhouse.

“Usually we either have daily chores, what I would consider daily chores. One person coming in spending a couple hours just watering everything. So usually only one person in the greenhouse. Versus here this weekend were having our plant sale. We got it to where it’s very structured where we only have one person coming in at a time. And they have fifteen to thirty minutes to find their plants, what they want, and then their gonna leave. Then we bring in the next person.”

However the lack of school and social distancing protocols have made some parts of their projects a little harder.

“It’s a lot harder to look at the pigs on a picture rather than in person,” said Baird.

Despite the last half of the school year not going as planned, Diamond’s FFA chapter is doing what it can to keep everything running smoothly.

“I mean these kids are willing to work through adversity and still come in and do a really good job for me and the FFA program. Ya know I’ve always told these kids is that you build the program. This is you’re program and there willing to give back to that program and keep coming in,” said McWilliams.

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