Members of the Mount Vernon FFA chapter attended the 95th annual Illinois State FFA Convention June 13-15 along with more than 5,000 other FFA members, advisors, and guests. 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.
During the convention, the following awards were presented to the Mount Vernon FFA:
Illinois State FFA Degree: Maelee Allen, Quinton Mullinax, & Alexia Trout were conferred with State FFA Degrees by the Illinois Association for meeting all requirements including productive financial investments and earnings in a supervised agricultural experience and FFA participation, leadership, and academic excellence. The State FFA Degree is the highest achievement an FFA member can achieve in Illinois; less than 2% of members statewide earn this prestigious recognition.
American FFA Degree: Halle Klockenga & Tori Shaw were recognized for earning the highest degree achievable in the National FFA Organization. The American FFA Degree will be officially conferred at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis in October and recognizes the most dedicated members in the country who demonstrated excellence with their supervised agricultural experience, provided outstanding leadership and community service, and earned scholastic achievement throughout their FFA career.
Growing Leaders National Chapter Award Winner: As part of the National Chapter Award program and the chapter’s program of activities, Growing Leaders is designed to encourage the chapter to develop individual and cooperative activities to enhance students’ life skills. The University of Illinois College of ACES is the statewide sponsor of the Growing Leaders National Chapter Award.
Building Communities National Chapter Award Section Winner: As part of the National Chapter Award program and the chapter’s program of activities, Building Communities is designed to encourage the local development of FFA partnerships with alumni affiliates and other organizations while taking a leadership role in making the community a better place to live and work. Cargill is the statewide sponsor of the Building Communities National Chapter Award.
Strengthening Agriculture National Chapter Award Section Winner: As part of the National Chapter Award program and the chapter’s program of activities, Strengthening Agriculture is designed to encourage opportunities and service for members, such as promoting increased member participation and financial responsibility, creating a positive image, and interacting with support groups and cooperatives through organized activities. Farm Credit Illinois is the statewide sponsor of the Strengthening Agriculture National Chapter Award.
Foundation $4,000 Club Award: The chapter was recognized for coordinating a local campaign for the Illinois Foundation FFA which raised at least $4,000. The chapter’s fundraising total was $4,082.59.
State Top 5 & 2nd Runner-Up Premier Chapter Award: The Premier Chapter Award is given to the chapter in each section with the highest overall score on the National Chapter Award application. The State Top 5 recognition is awarded to the section winners with the highest scores in each of the five districts throughout the State of Illinois. The Illinois Farm Bureau Family of Companies Youth Education in Agriculture Committee sponsors the Premier Chapter Awards. The chapter was also named a National Chapter Award Finalist and will compete this fall at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.
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 above: Alexia Trout and Calee Woodcock