SPRINGFIELD – More than 3,000 Illinois FFA high school students – including 11 members of the Bureau Valley FFA chapter – participated in the 2013 Illinois State FFA Convention at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield.
The 85th annual convention featured a “Growing Legacies” theme inspired by the 2012-13 Illinois State FFA Officer team. The convention celebrated the events of the year and included motivational speakers, recognition of individual and chapter achievement, and election of a new state officer team.
BV FFA member Susan Brummel was recognized on stage during the first convention session as the State Proficiency winner in the area of Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication. Her application will move on to the national level for judging. Retiring chapter reporter Michael Lotspeich and newly-elected reporter Lauren Peterson were also recognized on stage during the fifth general session for placing gold in the state with their chapter scrapbook.
During the convention, FFA members heard from motivational speaker Sam Glen, served as ushers, heard speeches from the five retiring state officers, participated in business sessions, and toured downtown Springfield.
Samantha Haney participated in the 50-member state FFA band playing first chair clarinet during the convention. As a member of the state FFA band, Samantha had an opportunity to audition for the National FFA Band and was recommended. The National FFA Band performs during the National Convention held in Louisville, Ky., at the end of October. After being recommended, Samantha has to create an audition tape, prepare an application and gain recommendation from her band instructor. Finally the national band director will review all applicants before selecting those that will perform. This will be Samantha’s second time participating in the National FFA Band.
During the sixth and final general session of the convention, Andrew Smith, Thomas Monier and Lauren Peterson received their state FFA degrees. The degree is the highest degree which the state association can award their members. In order to qualify for the degree, a member must have an outstanding Supervised Agriculture Experience Program, exhibit premier leadership qualities, be highly involved in the activities of the FFA, have an outstanding scholastic record, and provide service to their community.
Andrew Smith and Kelly Sierens served as voting delegates participating in the elections of the new state officers and approval of degrees and awards.
The chapter was also recognized as a member of the $1,500 club for its donation to the Illinois FFA foundation and was recognized as a bronze emblem winner in the National Chapter Award program.
The Illinois Association FFA is part of the National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America. The FFA is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members – all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Visit www.illinoisffa.org for more information.