Decorated vehicles cruise down Broadway Street as part of the Future Farmers of America caravan, a community event held Feb. 24 during FFA Week at King City High School. (Sean Roney/Staff)

KING CITY — An FFA caravan hit Broadway Street last Wednesday as part of the FFA Week lineup for the Future Farmers of America at King City High School.

The caravan had 35 vehicles, including diesel trucks from L.A. Hearne and Bassetti Farms, which blew their loud horns to draw attention from spectators.

The Feb. 24 event was a replacement for the annual donkey basketball game, in which different community groups would come together to compete. Current Covid-19 health guidelines, however, prevent such sports events from happening.

“Donkey Basketball is our biggest event of the year, and a lot of students come out for that,” said Campbell Ramirez, group president. “We even have Greenfield come down. It was hard, but then we got the idea of doing the parade, which was also a good community event for social distancing.”

Jesse Ledezma, group historian, added, “It was super cool to be able to interact with everyone and see faces and see, going through these rough times, all the support we had.”

The process for organizing the caravan included receiving approval from the county health department, which adviser Jessica Souza said took the help of the school district to get through.

“We did hand out rules to all the students and posted them on social media,” Souza said.

With the caravan having gone through town and FFA Week having concluded last week, the group is now considering a return to the caravan idea.

“We really did start a new tradition,” Souza said. “It’s something we should continue.”

She noted future iterations could include more ways to get local agriculture businesses involved in support of the FFA organization.

A car decorated as a pig cruises down Broadway Street as part of the King City FFA caravan on Feb. 24. (Sean Roney/Staff)

In addition to the caravan, the members did outreach in their local community.

“We also made floral arrangements on Monday to give out to businesses in thanks and we also did staff appreciation goodies, where they got mugs and different items,” Ramirez said.

Other activities during the week included FFA members dressing up in a different daily theme, such as Western day or pajama day, and then letting their teacher know of their virtual participation online.

“We also did fliers and posted them around town,” Ledezma said. “They were educational about FFA and had FFA fun facts.”

Souza added, “One of the big purposes of FFA Week is to educate people about the FFA organization as an ag leadership class.”

She said with the end of the school year in sight, King City FFA now has an end-of-year celebration in the works.

“We’re hoping to have some sort of drive-thru celebration instead of a banquet at the end of April where we can honor our graduates,” Souza said. “We’re going to do some sort of celebration hopefully with a meal.”

Normally, King City FFA would have a banquet with 400 guests, which is impossible with current health guidelines in place.

King City FFA has more than 700 members, including all the KCHS agricultural students and another 20 alumni on the current roster. The members meet regularly online.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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