At the fourth general session of the 92nd National FFA Convention & Expo, FFA members and guests witnessed the making of history.
“Today’s opening ceremonies are going to look a little bit different from what some of us are used to,” says Luke O’Leary, 2018-19 national FFA president. “Throughout this year as national officers, we’ve met a lot of members who speak English as their second language. If you haven’t heard the opening ceremonies spoken in Spanish, you’re in for a real treat.”
Although many FFA members are native Spanish speakers, no national session has ever incorporated the language. Puerto Rico, however, conducts all FFA ceremonies in their native language, while many other states have large Spanish-speaking membership.
While the National FFA Officer Team was present at their stations for the event, the ceremonies were conducted by native speakers from associations across the organization. The speakers were David Lopez, California FFA sentinel as president; Kevin Rivera, Puerto Rico FFA vice president as vice president; Tatiana Ortiz, Puerto Rico FFA secretary as secretary; Miriam Alvarado, California FFA reporter as treasurer; Orlando Suarez, Puerto Rico FFA treasurer as reporter; Karla De La Cruz, Wyoming FFA treasurer as sentinel; and Isaac Valencia, advisor of Galt FFA in California as advisor.
“It was really special,” Lopez says. “I think a lot of times it’s hard to find your spot in a program and whenever you see other people like you on stage, it really inspires you. It was really an honor to represent, not only California, but also the Hi