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Officers elected during State FFA Convention


The 2023-2024 Illinois State Officer Team was elected Thursday, June 15, via in-person voting during the 95th annual Illinois FFA State Convention. The officers were installed immediately following the election and will serve the Illinois Association FFA for the next twelve months.

Among the new officers is area FFA member Eric Wisely, 19, of Oakdale (Washington County) and the Nashville FFA Chapter. He is the son of Jimmy and Denise Wisely, a 2022 graduate of Nashville Community High School, and enrolled at Southern Illinois University Carbondale studying agricultural education. “As a state officer, I want to be real with members and assure them that capable leaders are not flawless people,” Wisely says. “I want to prove to members that inconveniences can be opportunities in disguise and help them reach their full potential.”

The newly elected officers are: President, Thaddeus Bergschneider, 18, of Franklin (Morgan County) and the Franklin FFA Chapter; Vice President, Eric Wisely, 19, of Oakdale (Washington County) and the Nashville FFA Chapter; Reporter, Cooper Nelson, 18, of Canton (Fulton County) and the Canton FFA Chapter; Secretary, Riley Kessler, 18, of New Douglas (Madison County) and the Staunton FFA Chapter; Treasurer, Benjamin Bremmer, 18, of Pearl City (Stephenson County) and the Pearl City FFA Chapter.

The five officers were elected from a group of 10 candidates selected by a committee in late April. Each officer puts their collegiate pursuits on hold for one year as they serve the Illinois Association FFA. Officers typically travel more than 20,000 miles visiting FFA chapters around the state, conducting workshops and meetings, representing Illinois FFA in professional settings, and promoting agricultural education. Since 1929, Illinois has elected a State FFA Officer Team.

The 95th annual Illinois State FFA Convention hosted more than 5,000 FFA members, advisors, and guests from June 13-15. With a 2023 theme of “Electrify,” the three-day event annually recognizes achievements of Illinois FFA members, elects the major state officer team, and celebrates agriculture.

Students at the convention were greeted with activities including a career fair featuring colleges and agribusinesses and an opportunity to engage in the history of Illinois’ capital city. The sessions featured addresses by National FFA Eastern Region Vice President Gracie Murphy of Illinois and from each of the retiring major state officers.

Pictured (L to R), front: Riley Kessler, secretary; Eric Wisely, vice president; back: Thaddeus Bergschneider, president; Benjamin Bremmer, treasurer; and Cooper Nelson, reporter.

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