Mr. Willmore: “Just keep going where you’re going so we can get there and do things in person”


Jerome High School- Mr. Willmore, one of the AG/FFA teachers at Jerome High School, he has been teaching for seven years but this year is a little different. This year he has to teach, practice for FFA competitions, and compete with the complications from the coronavirus. Right now he is preparing kids for livestock judging. Willmore says “There are a lot more restrictions that we have to follow this year so it has changed the way we have to practice.” 

We talked to two students/FFA members that are participating in the livestock judging competition about how Willmore has them practice and if it’s effective. Eliza Dugan, one the students that we talked to said, ”Overall, I think he’s done a great job because of having options to go online with different websites that provide virtual judging. It has helped us branch out and learn about other people’s opinions so that we don’t get just one person but  get other websites and other people’s beliefs.” Kayden Paul the other student we talked to said, “I like his teaching, it’s very I don’t know the word for it but it gets into your head basically.”

When Willmore was asked how many chapters he thinks might show up to the contest, he said, ”I think there’s six chapters showing up. There’s a couple that don’t have a team or they’re in a place where they can’t travel to compete because of what states they’re in at their school.” Chapters in FFA are student organized arms of school based agricultural education programs. Eliza Dugan and Kayden Paul also commented on how many chapters would come. Eliza said, “Seeing that other districts are in orange, I believe that it’ll prohibit other FFA chapters from coming.” Kayden also answered saying, “Depends on how bad it gets. If it gets to the point of where school starts shutting down again, I think we’ll still do contests.”

Even though it’s possible that the coronavirus can cancel the livestock judging,  Mr. Willmore still has hope. When asked how he thinks Jerome will do, Mr. Willmore said, “Decent, we’ll do pretty good. We put a lot of practice in. We have some kids that have very little experience judging livestock and we have kids who have been doing it for years and years. So I think we’ll do pretty good. According to Eliza, if the coronavirus does shut the contest down, she said, ”I’ve participated in other livestock judging contests virtually. But seeing that there’s an online option, I think that if we made it to state and if it gets canceled, there will be other opportunities.” 

Although times are stressful right now, Mr. Willmore is still cheering on students at Jerome High School. “Just keep going. Things are gonna change.”