“You know how to reach me.” This very phrase is said to me in most every interaction I have with James Shelby, the Mt. Vernon FFA Alumni president during my high school FFA career.

Since I met him, he has done everything possible to help me in life. Whether it be school, FFA or life advice in general, he was always willing to offer advice or assistance. It was his wholehearted belief in my passion for the FFA that carried me to become a state FFA officer.

However, it wasn’t just him. It was all of the FFA and their support of my FFA chapter and I that gave me my successful experience in FFA.

And that experience doesn’t just have to be my own. Most don’t know this, but anyone can be an FFA Alumni member. There doesn’t have to be an FFA program, agricultural or family-related background to become an FFA Alumni member.

Simply, an FFA Alumni member must have a passion for helping students succeed. To become an FFA Alumni member, contact your local FFA chapter or the Illinois FFA Center. Currently, we have a 1:1 ratio of FFA members to FFA Alumni members in the state of Illinois and we hope to continue this.

In being an FFA Alumni member, there are various conferences available for attendance. One is the Illinois FFA Alumni Annual Meeting and Auction which is taking place Jan. 25-26 in Champaign, Illinois.

At this meeting, current FFA Alumni topics are discussed and business is transacted, as well as an auction to raise funds for FFA scholarships. This meeting is open for any Illinois FFA Alumni member, and we encourage everyone to attend.

Whether your support is through supporting the FFA Alumni auction, chapter level involvement or constantly checking in on FFA members and offering support like James Shelby, becoming an FFA Alumni member has the opportunity to benefit the 18,394 Illinois FFA members.

We encourage everyone to contact their local FFA chapter or the Illinois FFA Center to learn more about becoming an FFA Alumni member.

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