Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some schools are starting the new year in modified classrooms and with changed schedules. Other classes are being conducted virtually while students work to juggle school, home and health priorities. Still more students and advisors are waiting to hear what the school year will look like. Regardless, FFA chapter recruitment provides a unique opportunity to reach out in new ways.
- Wear your chapter pride by creating custom face masks for FFA members to use while in public. Specialty FFA fabrics and school colors can stand out among a sea of blue surgical masks.
- Amp up your digital content and recruitment. Social distancing may make club fairs and in-person meet-and-greets complicated this year. Be sure potential members can find information about your chapter online.
- Is videoconferencing key to your upcoming school year? Many platforms allow for custom backgrounds. Ask your advisor to snap photos of your classrooms and agricultural labs. It’s possible to show off your favorite classroom even when you are sitting at your kitchen table.
- Time out of the classroom could be the perfect opportunity to work on your supervised agricultural experience (SAE) projects. Spotlight some incredible SAEs to showcase the variety of opportunities in agriculture, the diversity of current FFA members and how your chapter can be a place for everyone.
- Create a virtual networking opportunity. Is there a local drive-in theater in your community? Are CB radios and walkie-talkies popular? Create a unique networking event and award a prize for the most “spirited” vehicle.
- Recruitment and community service often go together. Establish a plan to clean up your community as a chapter. Create a grid and assign each member a section of the town to beautify and demonstrate how you are “living to serve.”
- Outdoor advertising could become your new recruitment tool. Work with your school and local alumni to hang signs from fences, football goalposts or even hay bales to advertise your recruitment process.
- Social media takeovers can be a great way to engage returning and new FFA members. Make a schedule for different chapter members to take over your chapter’s social media channels for a day and share a day in their life. Followers can ask questions of these members to learn more about them and why they love being a part of the National FFA Organization.