March 04, 2024

FFA officers harvest fun at State Fair

FFA Corner

The month of August was very busy for this year’s Illinois Association FFA major state officers. The month kicked off with training from Andrew McCrea, a former national officer.

McCrea taught the officers different techniques to prepare and deliver speeches, which they used to prepare their Leadership Training School speeches.

This year’s section presidents joined the state officers in Springfield the week of Aug. 6 to prepare for the Illinois State Fair.

This prep included animal ethics training as well as work to get the FFA barnyard ready to host animals and people at the State Fair for the coming days.

From Aug. 9-20, the state officers and section presidents could be found in the FFA barnyard at the fair, where they informed the public about animals and general agriculture knowledge.

Animals at the barnyard included 12 ducks, 12 chicks, four rabbits, two goats, two pigs, two sheep and one calf.

This year, the Illinois State Fair theme was “Harvest the Fun!” This year’s fair did just that.

The fair set record-breaking attendance, which could be seen in the barnyard, as well as a huge spotlight on the state’s ag industry.

The FFA officers were named the grand marshals for both the Springfield and Du Quoin state fairs.

After the fair cleanup, the state officers got some facilitation training from Luren Biglar, a past Pennsylvania state officer.

This training spanned three days and taught the officers how to work well together when planning and delivering a workshop. The officers utilized this time to finalize chapter visits.

The month of August was rounded off by the Farm Progress Show. Officers were at the show for all three days.

Day one saw the officers helping at the Illinois Commodities tent, where officers were passing out information for the FFA license plate for which they are laying groundwork.

On day two, officers were in the Growmark FS tent helping fellow FFA members check-in. The five schools that had the most teams check-in to the Farm Progress Show will be awarded $1,000.

On day three, officers helped out in the Farm Bureau tent where they helped to pass out ice cream and T-shirts.

The state officers also had FFA huddles at the Farm Credit tent where the team was interviewed by Rod Stoll in front of younger members of the FFA in order to teach and inspire them to become more involved in agriculture and FFA.

Throughout the week, officers were also able to experience the show and learn more about the many exhibitors present.

Cooper Nelson from the Canton FFA Chapter is the 2023-2024 Illinois Association FFA state reporter.